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Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

A clichéd dramedy about a fractured family embracing its inner and outer hippie

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Throughout Bruce Beresford's family dramedy, I had to wonder what on earth compelled such competent actresses as Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen to sign up for this tepid cliché-fest. After her husband abruptly asks for a divorce, uptight Manhattan lawyer Diane (Keener) packs up her teen-age kids — including her sanctimonious vegetarian daughter (Olsen) — and heads for her estranged hippie mom's pad in Woodstock. Yes, Woodstock, where bloated old hippies bang drums for peace, howl at the moon, wear tie-dyed clothes, smoke mountains of pot and deliver bromides about life that were hoary in 1972. Diane is outraged that mom's house is overrun with chickens, and mom (Fonda, in a crazy fright wig) thinks Diane is a real buzz-kill and rattles on about seeing Jimi play Woodstock. Sigh. If it weren't for all the dope-smoking and the odd flash of middle-aged male ass, this hackney feel-good family-matters-most piffle could have been on the Hallmark Channel, that's how inauthentic it felt.

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