Dorothea Fields is 55-years-old, she has a 15 year-old son Jamie and the setting is the summer of 1979. She is divorced and she rents out rooms in her home so Jamie can experience being around other people and not just his mother. She feels she may not be enough to raise him alone. This arrangement also helps her with paying the rent. 24 year-old Abbie is a quirky punk photographer with purple-red hair, William is a handyman who also works on cars and 17 year-old Julie is Jamie’s best friend. Julie actually doesn't live there or rents a room. She climbs up the outside scaffolding when she wants to be away from her own home. Dorothea likes to throw spur of the moment everyone talking around the table dinner parties for friends and people she meets.
Jamie wonders why his mother never dates anyone for very long? Isn’t she interested in getting married again or at least a relationship? Jamie is trying to find his place in the world but the others in his life are doing the same thing with their own lives. Abbie may have cancer because of a drug her mother took? William can’t seem to find any woman who wants a serious connection? Julie is a teen struggling through the teenage years. Jamie seems levelheaded and may not need any of the tenants? Maybe Dorothea is just insecure as a single parent? (3* This movie is OK)
119 min, Comedy directed by Mike Mills with Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Lucas Jade Zumann, Alison Elliott, Thea Gill, Vitaly Andrew LeBeau, Olivia Hone, Waleed Zuaiter.
Note: Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 88% critic 73% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*, Amazon 3.5* out of 5* with 137 reviews, Metacritic 83 out of 100 with 36 critics 7.1 out of 10 with 87 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York. According to the director Mike Mills, this film is semi-autobiographical. The mother character played by Annette Bening is partially based on his mother but with a spin by Bening. She watched his mother’s favorite films before production began. Stage Door 1937 and Humphrey Bogart films including Casablanca 1942. Mike Mills has also directed the film Beginners about his father starring Christopher Plummer.