Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

film peacelove250It’s an old story: free-spirited hippie parent vs. straight-arrow adult child. And it doesn’t get much fresher in this well-meaning but unconvincing generation-gap comedy from director Bruce Beresford. Working from a script by Joseph Muszynski and Christine Mengert, Beresford makes a wholly benign film about rapprochement between the generations.

But it does have a terrific centerpiece performance from Jane Fonda. If the real-life Fonda got stuck in a time-warp ca. 1970—and was not the famous movie actress—she’d be a lot like Grace, the feisty aging hippie she plays here. As the story begins, Diane (Catherine Keener), a Type-A NYC lawyer, learns that her weary husband (Kyle MacLachlan, briefly) wants a divorce.

Reeling, she packs up her two teenagers, Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and Jake (Nat Wolff), and heads upstate to Woodstock to visit her estranged mom, Grace (Fonda). Grace lives in a colorful old farmhouse she shares with a bunch of chickens, her macramé, and paintings, with a pot-growing lab in the basement and a brightly painted bus in the front yard.

The kids have never even met their grandmother, so it’s unclear why disapproving Diane brings them back now, if all she wants to do is bicker with her mom. But the kids quickly go native; Grace takes them to the weekly anti-war protest march (wait, maybe this is a time-warp), where Jake falls for a local shopgirl, while militant vegetarian Zoe sparks with hunky young butcher, Cole (Chace Crawford).

Eventually, Diane too finds improbable romance with scruffy, dependable Jude (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Keener can’t make heads or tails out of her sour, film peaceloveunderwritten character, although Wolff and especially wry, poised Olsen are both great.

And there’s always Fonda, teaching the kids to smoke a bong, howling at the full moon, and dispensing wisdom, regret, and absolution that feels hard-won and genuine. If only she were in a better movie.


★★1/2 (out of four)
Watch film trailer >>>

(R) 96 minutes.   | LJ

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management