This is one of those horrid Hollywood movies in which an actress (Toni Collette) gains a handful of pounds, wears only a little makeup, and is constantly referred to as frumpy and fat; it's self-help cinema for pretty people who don't think they're pretty enough. These aren't characters, but caricatures of the Driven Woman Who Chose to Ditch Her Stressful Day Job to Walk Dogs (Collette) and Her Feral Younger Sister Who Moves In With an Old Lady and Discovers Responsibility After All (Cameron Diaz). This is a song you've heard a thousand times before, and every note rings false -- save for those performed by Shirley MacLaine, as the girls' grandmother, who lives in an idyllic retirement community populated by cheerful old folks who apparently believe Cocoon was a documentary. One can't help but ache at the irony: a movie about young women just figuring out their dreary lives are empty and drab, till at long last it moves into the old folks' home and finds its soul.
Director: Curtis Hanson
Writer: Susannah Grant
Producer: Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon and Lisa Ellzey
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Feuerstein, Brooke Smith, Francine Beers, Richard Burgi, Ken Howard, Candy Azzara and Jackie Geary