A young man’s life is turned upside down when his mother, catching his father in flagrante, walks out, with her two teenage sons in tow, and sets out on what becomes a cross-country journey. What sounds like a thrilling adventure is actually a terrifying ordeal. It’s the early 1950s, and the mother, an attractive woman, is used to having men taking care of her. But she is repeatedly taken advantage of by the men she looks to for protection. To her own surprise, and against her own inclination, she eventually discovers that she can take care of herself. And the young man, who sees his parents’ many flaws with a clear-eyed lack of sentimentality, discovers to his own surprise that he loves them anyway. This is a pretty good movie, with a lot more emotional honesty than you might have expected from the trailer.
Renee Zellwegger is terrific as the mother. Kevin Bacon delights “Six Degrees” players by appearing as the dad.