Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language, 108 minutes
"My One and Only" all too familiar trip
"My One and Only" is the new romantic comedy starring Renee Zellweger as a woman who hits the road in search of a new man, tired of her wayward husband. Part comedy, part romance, part road trip, it's a rather stale, thinly plotted movie with the supporting players more memorable than the normally likable Zellweger, who phones in a flat performance in an unoriginal movie.
Zellweger is a self-absorbed 1950s woman named Anne Devereux who leaves her philandering band-leader husband (Kevin Bacon) and takes her two teen-aged sons George (Logan Lerman) and Robbie (Mark Rendall) across the country, searching for a new husband who's worthy-and capable-of supporting her and her family. In their bittersweet cross-country adventure, they find they must pull together as a family and overcome the unexpected pitfalls of the road.
"My One and Only," based on the life of George Hamilton's mother, is a hackneyed, predictable attempt with an entertaining but unfocused premise. On one hand, it's admirable that director Richard Loncraine ("Wimbledon") and writer Charlie Peters attempt to provide a strong part for a woman, but it's so cliched and unsympathetic that it's an unfortunate waste. Speaking of which, Zellweger gives a likable but stilted, implausible performance that's hard to connect to. The plot goes from one sad episode to another as Anne goes through imbalanced, psychotic or altogether loserish men.
The more memorable performances come from the supporting players, particularly Lerman (from "3:10 to Yuma") and Rendall as her sons; Lerman gives a strong turn as the wiser-than-the-parent sibling who's the voice of reason, while Rendall is fun as the more flamboyant, stage-loving son. Watch for character actress Robin Weigert (of TV's "Life"), who steals a few scenes in a small part as Anne's negative, sarcastic sister. The men in her life are just as unsympathetic and underwritten as Zellweger: Steven Weber, Chris Noth, Eric McCormack, David Koechner and especially Kevin Bacon barely make an impact in all-too brief roles.
The last act of "My One and Only" is too predictable and too pensive, and is surprisingly more of a downer than you might think. The characters don't really change much, or don't do much of anything different than they did at the beginning of the film. "My One and Only" isn't a terrible film, just an unfocused one that lacks power or poignancy to be a truly great film.