The Magic Of Ordinary Days

  • 2004
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Brent Shields' swoony soap opera has only one aim: To make the susceptible get out their handkerchiefs. WWII-era college grad Livy Dinn (Keri Russell) has plenty of book smarts but lacked the common sense not to wind up seduced and abandoned by a sweet-talking soldier. Realizing that she's also pregnant, the disgraced Livy decides to spare her family...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Brent Shields' swoony soap opera has only one aim: To make the susceptible get out their handkerchiefs.

WWII-era college grad Livy Dinn (Keri Russell) has plenty of book smarts but lacked the common sense not to wind up seduced and abandoned by a sweet-talking soldier. Realizing that she's also pregnant, the disgraced Livy decides to spare her family further shame by consenting to an arranged marriage with Colorado farmer Ray Singleton (Skeet Ulrich). Mail order bride Livy is thrilled to be free of her pious family, but her heart isn't in her marriage to Ray, even though Ray is a good, Christian, salt-of-the-earth type willing to overlook the fact that his bride is pregnant, albeit one somewhat lacking in basic social skills. Livy can’t believe her good luck when Ray’s family receives her warmly, but the life of a farmer’s wife in a one-horse town is a far cry from the career in archaeology Livy had imagined for herself. Livy keeps Ray at arm’s length and finds solace in the public library and in her friendship with two Japanese women interned in a nearby camp. For all his patience, Ray is crushed when he discovers that Livy is corresponding with her ex-beau, who denies all

responsibility for her pregnancy. Livy, meanwhile, begins to feel she's unworthy of Ray and that the best thing she can do is leave. But before she does, Livy must stop her pal, Florence (Tania Gunadi), from eloping with a German POW and making the kind of headstrong romantic decision that she's come to rue.

It's not the fault of gorgeous leads Russell and Ulrich that they're miscast, and while Ann Howard Creel's source novel may have addressed the wartime Zeitgeist with more depth, this adaptation is best seen as escapism viewed as nostalgic escapism with a moral lesson.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Brent Shields' swoony soap opera has only one aim: To make the susceptible get out their handkerchiefs. WWII-era college grad Livy Dinn (Keri Russell) has plenty of book smarts but lacked the common sense not to wind up seduced and abandoned by a sweet… (more)

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