Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
Starring: Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning, Heather Locklear, Jesse Spencer, Donald Faison | Directed by: Boaz Yakin | Produced by: Allison Jacobs, John Penotti, Fisher Stevens | Written by: Julia Dahl, Lisa Davidowitz, Mo Ogrodnik, Allison Jacobs | Distributor: MGM
Oscar and Felix? Perhaps, but make them both female, change Oscar’s age to 22 and Felix’s to 8 and you’d be getting closer. And although Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy—“8 Mile”, “Riding In Cars With Boys”, “Clueless”) and Rae Schleine (Dakota Fanning—“Sweet Home Alabama”, “I Am Sam”) don’t exist entirely as roommates, these two clearly exist and clash as a humorous and touching odd couple.
Molly is the daughter of former legendary rock star “Tommy Gun” who was killed, along with his wife—Molly’s mother—in a plane crash, and now lives off her inheritance. Apart from this tragedy, she has everything else a girl could want and lives an extravagant and loose lifestyle in New York City. Initially surrounded by wealth, flowers, friends who lover her and a surprise party for her 22nd birthday, Molly’s life soon plummets in a downward spiral.
After losing her inheritance, her apartment, and several subsequent jobs, Molly’s faithful friend, Huey (Donald Adeoson Faison—“Big Fat Liar,” “Remember the Titans”) provides her with a job as a nanny. Eight year-old Rae Schleine is the daughter of record producer Roma Schleine (Heather Locklear) and Rae is everything Molly is not: responsible, independent, mature, levelheaded and grown-up. Ironically, Rae is only 8 years old. Roma Schleine, Rae’s mother, is so consumed with her work that she has no time for her daughter, meanwhile Rae goes through nanny after nanny because no one can cope with her. This all changes when the wild-living “hippie,” Molly, enters Rae’s life as her new nanny.
Humorous throughout is the juxtaposition of these two characters’ lifestyles. Molly has pursued an irrational lifestyle in response to the loss of her parents, while Rae has been forced to be independent and has thus assumed a complete adult attitude. After grating on each other, these two find common ground and each affects the other in a turn for the better. The touching twists that unfold cause both to arrive at a better, more complete life, while in the process developing a heartening friendship.
Granted Molly has a positive influence on Rae, the free-spirited lifestyle she has led is not entirely respectable. Fortunately, the immoral choices she makes (sleeping with her boyfriend, drinking, etc.) do not directly affect Rae. What does affect Rae is the childlike spirit of the 22 year-old Molly. Paradoxically, Molly affects 8 year-old Rae, who acts like she is 28, in a way that helps her revive her childhood. On the flip side of this coin, Rae affects Molly and it leads her to become more responsible and mature.
Molly is clearly the main character and the one who does the most influencing between the two main characters. Although each helps to redeem the other from their inadequacies, Molly’s help for Rae is the most dominant. For this reason, although both experience change, it seems Molly is the one doing the redeeming and Rae is the one receiving redemption.
Overall, there wasn’t really any swearing, save for a few minor moments. An aspect that would concern viewers is the obtrusive sexuality of Molly and her frequent scant clothing. There is no nudity or sex scenes, but it is clearly implied that Molly sleeps with her boyfriend. Aside from these things, the movie has a very heart-warming touch and a clear message on the importance of family, learning from each other, and loving people.
Violence: None | Profanity: Minor | Sex/Nudity: Moderate