Bonneville Christopher N. Rowley

Bonneville Christopher N. Rowley
Playing like a Christian television version of Boys on the Side — only without the AIDS, the boobs and Nancy Botwin yelling the C-word — Bonneville caters well to the blue-haired crowd, keeping naughtiness to a minimum and wholehearted female bonding at the forefront. While the subject matter is unlikely to offend anyone other than the hardcore Joseph Smith freaks — who will surely frown on women expressing sexual desires outside of their marriage — the lack of filmmaking panache may offend those with a slightly more discerning cinematic palate. The comic moments, in addition to those that pull at heartstrings, feel entirely artificial and insincere throughout. Rowley’s direction is stage-y at best, without any sense of visual cohesion or pacing. It’s a shame since the pairing of these screen legends could have easily sparked some celluloid magic, but Bonneville instead wastes their talents with crappy humour and exceedingly familiar plot devices. After the death of her husband, Arvilla (Jessica Lange) is informed by her Type-A stereotype step-daughter (Christine Baranski) that she must hand over the ashes of her late husband or be forced from her home. The problem here is that Arvilla has promised her late husband that she would scatter his ashes in predetermined locations. Following some painful internal deliberations, Arvilla decides to deliver the ashes to her step-daughter but is accompanied by her sassy gal-pal Margene (Kathy Bates) and the anal-retentive Carol (Joan Allen) in a cross-country road trip in a stylin’ Bonneville. Their slightly inappropriate hijinks are sure to entertain the local bridge club after a glass of port but will confuse and unintentionally amuse more cynical heathens and pagans. The DVD boasts a touching featurette where the actresses talk about their comfort during the shoot and the intense connection they had with their co-stars, which unfortunately is not at all apparent on-screen. Deleted scenes appear to have been cut for running time only but feature Luke Duke acting kooky and Joan Allen eating a banana. The gag reel reinforces the opinion that Kathy Bates is likely a riot to be around and the "Red Hat Society Promo” is pure gold, advertising a social group for menopausal ladies who love to dance around in what appears to be a gay bar. (Seville)