Freshly graduated from "The OC," actor Adam Brody takes to the big screen and attempts to be the new leading man. While veterans such as Olympia Dukakis and Meg Ryan bring some experience, under the control of freshman director Jon Kasdan, the movie lacks a little polish at times. Still, it has a raw and real feel to it that makes it a worthwhile endeavor.
Brody plays Carter Webb, a twenty something prolonged adolescent who is on the verge of adulthood. While he makes a living at writing soft porn, upon the breakup with his girlfriend, he needs to get away and ventures to his grandma's up in Michigan. He finds in his grandmother an older woman, played by Olympia Dukakis, that despite her barely compensated dementia, can occasionally impart a nugget of wisdom. Both Carter and his grandma need each other in a symbiotic way.
Across the street lives Sarah Hardwicke, ably played by Meg Ryan. Despite the average appearance to outsiders: husband, two children, nice house, etc, etc, there's a lot more going on at the Hardwicke house. Not the least of which is that Sarah is newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and she's trying to fit her treatment into her busy schedule while dealing with an entire household of family issues.
The dichotomy of Carter- on the edge between adolescent and adult is shown that he has an interest in both the mother and the daughter across the street. As the film progresses, he does ultimately do some growing up, and cross the threshold into adulthood.
While In the Land of Women is a little rough around the edges (and I'm still used to seeing Brody as Seth of "The OC") this film has enough drama, with characters that are multidimensional enough to keep my attention throughout this 100 minute well paced film. Look for it on DVD.
Overall Grade: B+
Reviewed by Jonas