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Bonneville

A Mormon female-bonding fantasy

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Bonneville
Directed by Christopher N. Rowley
SenArt Films Releasing, opens February 29

Three middle-aged Mormon ladies from Idaho tie scarves around their heads, don sunglasses, and fly across the American landscape in a convertible like they're Thelma and Louise, yet this rarity in cinema—a graying cast in a female-bonding adventure—couldn't be more dull-humored or predictably maudlin without just calling itself The Bucket List 2. Arvilla (Jessica Lange) wants to honor her late husband's wishes of spreading his cremated ashes, but her bitchy stepdaughter (Christine Baranski) will steal her house away if she doesn't send what's left of "Daddy" to Santa Barbara. Road trip! Accompanied by sassmouth Margene (Kathy Bates) and prissy pragmatist Carol (Joan Allen)—the latter a plant for the Latter-Day Saints: "Oh my heck, I think I just drank vodka," or "Coffee? What kind of a Mormon are you?"—Arvilla sets out on a journey of enlightenment in which all three women will learn a little something about themselves, and how best to make us roll our eyes. First-time director Christopher N. Rowley and writer Daniel D. Davis have created a safe fantasy world where all truckers are gentlemen, as are the hitchhikers, and women stereotypically break anything they try to drive.

 
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