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One True Thing movie review

One True Thing

One problem with being a reviewer is wrestling with oneself, trying not to fall into the trap of 'being clever'. You know, no smart remarks for the sake of it. Which is why it took me a long time to face this review. You see, it all comes down to this:

If the phone company and the greeting card company got together and make a film -- this would be it..

Really. A group of people one would consider serious actors got together with a group of other film makers and made a two-hour advertisement for calling mummy on the way to sending her a nice card and some flowers.

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The one true thing about The One True Thing is that mummy is misunderstood, abused and maligned saintliness while everyone else has actual flaws and strengths of character.

And that's what I thought before Renee Zellweger decided to alienate every woman over thirty by announcing in the press kit that hers was the first generation of females with positions of responsibility in business.

This film is a sniffle-fest -- mummy (Meryl Streep) is dying in hideous detail from cancer, daddy (William Hurt) is a selfish snot of a professor who demands that his daughter (Zellweger) drop her career to look after her. He is too busy engaged in extracurricular activities with his female students and indulging in maudlin reflections on his writing career.

This poem to motherhood is full of cheap tears, wringing every one out with the great cliches. It tries to tell us that for women the ties of family mean accepting humiliation, faithlessness, acting irresponsibly in business, and being incredibly twee. The result is still dehumanisation -- mother is not a human she's just a disrespected servant, romanticised, but merely a symbol that keeps the background of the family's lives going.

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Due for Australian release May 27, 1999
For credits and official site details, see below.

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Just the facts:

Title: One True Thing (199)
Written by: Karen Croner, based on the novel by Anna Quindlen
Directed by: Carl Franklin,
Produced by:
Edited by: Carole Kravetz
Director of Photography:
running time:

The Players: Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, William Hurt, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Nicky Katt
Official website
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.

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Filed: 28-Nov-1998 : Last updated: : Last tested: 19-Jan-2009 : Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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