Peace, Love & Misunderstanding
With Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, director Bruce Beresford returns to the comedic family dysfunction of Crimes of the Heart and Rich in Love, albeit without Beth Henley or Alfred Uhry. First time screenwriters Christina Mengert and Joseph Muszynski create a host of stereotypes, providing each with a distinctive lingo: effusive hippie Grace (Jane Fonda) recites mystical platitudes; her uptight conservative daughter Diane (Catherine Keener) uses a clipped cadence; and outspoken vegan granddaughter Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) cloaks experience in academic jargon. The characters talk at each other, but Fonda, Keener and Olsen keep the film from completely sinking into sitcom didacticism. They’re believable as a family whereas Zoe’s geeky brother Jake (Nat Wolff) functions as comic relief and plot device. When Diane drags her kids from Manhattan to her estranged mother’s house in Woodstock, it’s clear that wish fulfillment is in store for one and all. Just drive upstate, where scenic beauty and blissful romance await.
Review by Serena Donadoni
Released on June 8, 2012
Originally appeared in Indiewire.
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is available on Netflix