Tumbleweeds

If you've already seen ANYWHERE BUT HERE, you're in for a serious case of deja-vu. But get over it: Released just weeks after Wayne Wang's high-profile production and featuring a strikingly similar plot, this far more modest production is a much more interesting film. Mary Jo Walker (Janet McTeer) is a restless good-time girl who likes getting married;...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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If you've already seen ANYWHERE BUT HERE, you're in for a serious case of deja-vu. But get over it: Released just weeks after Wayne Wang's high-profile production and featuring a strikingly similar plot, this far more modest production is a much more interesting

film. Mary Jo Walker (Janet McTeer) is a restless good-time girl who likes getting married; staying married is a whole other story. With an unerring talent for meeting Mr. Wrong, Mary Jo is constantly on the move, bouncing around the southern states as she goes from husband to husband, hapless

12-year-old daughter Ava (Kimberly J. Brown) in tow. Leaving husband number four back in West Virginia, Mary Joe lets Ava convince her to try San Diego, CA; with just a few bucks and "Que Sera, Sera" on the soundtrack, mother and daughter hit the road. But trouble in the burly shape of potential

husband number five hits before they even cross the California state line. When a busted water hose leaves them stranded on a desert highway, Jack (Gavin O'Connor, who also cowrote and directed), a passing trucker, stops and sends them on their way. Coincidentally, he's the first man Mary Jo

shacks up with once she and Ava settle in Starlight Beach. This is a much rougher film than Wang's; the humor is cruder, the script isn't nearly as sharp and O'Connor doesn't quite know when to stop, meandering past the perfect ending for a pointless coda. But it's also the more honest film, and

the perfect showcase for McTeer, an extraordinarily talented British stage actress who fully transforms herself into the role of an emotionally bruised American southerner. Brown is also good as Ava, the indefatigable daughter who knows just when to start packing, and who's smart enough to make

sure her latest bedroom has an escape route.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: If you've already seen ANYWHERE BUT HERE, you're in for a serious case of deja-vu. But get over it: Released just weeks after Wayne Wang's high-profile production and featuring a strikingly similar plot, this far more modest production is a much more inter… (more)

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