Kristin McGary's adaptation of Milam McGraw Propst's A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street is light family fare built around the engaging Ociee Nash, a 19th-century Mississippi gal with lots of moxie. Mississippi, 1898: Instead of pouring tea with her pinky up like a proper young lady, tomboyish Ociee (Skyler Day) loves to scramble through the woods, worrying her widowed father, George (Keith Carradine), that his little girl is grow up wild. Convinced that a woman's touch is what's needed, George accepts an offer from Ociee’s equally concerned aunt, Mamie (Mare Winningham), who lives in Ashville, North Carolina, and is willing to apply herself to polishing Ociee's rough edges. Ociee hates the idea, but her protests fall on deaf ears and she's soon en route to a more structured, ladylike life. During her long train trip to Ashville, the outgoing
Ociee chit chats with famous reporter Nelly Bly (Donna Wright) and, at a whistle stop, offers encouragement to President McKinley (Daniel Burnley). Mamie welcomes her headstrong niece with a warning that she doesn't hold with "tall tales" and encourages her to Elizabeth Murphy (Jasmine Sky), the genteel girl next door. Accustomed to more robust pursuits than playing dolls, Ociee persuades Elizabeth to go rope-swinging by the creek; when Elizabeth falls into the water, both her parents and Aunt Mamie are appalled. Ociee's behavior is just the sort of thing that sets tongues a-wagging among Ashville's gossips, and Mamie isn't sure that she can bring Ociee's high spirits into line with the demands of social decorum without crushing them entirely. Ociee's opportunity to prove herself comes when Elizabeth is trapped in a house fire; Ociee risks her own neck to rescue her friend if the neighbors can't see she's made of fine stuff after that, then maybe their opinions shouldn't count for much. There's a FORREST GUMP-like quality to Propst's young adult tale, which brings Ociee into contact with a wide variety of historical personages (including Orville Wright, played by Extreme Make-Over guru Ty Pennington), but Day is enough of an unactressy charmer to hold her own.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: G
- Review: Kristin McGary's adaptation of Milam McGraw Propst's A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street is light family fare built around the engaging Ociee Nash, a 19th-century Mississippi gal with lots of moxie. Mississippi, 1898: Instead of pouring tea with her pinky… (more)