Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Trite road-trip dramedy won't interest most kids.

Movie PG 2008 93 minutes
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Innocuous but uninspired, BONNEVILLE is most effective when it forgets the contrived plot turns and lets the three women interact. The scenes in which Arvilla and Carol chat quietly while covering each other's faces in cleansing "mud," or in which Margene encourages Carol to join them on the "magic fingers" motel room bed, are convincing and sweet. They're also considerably less forced than the sequences that deal with lessons in tolerance, a slapsticky fight with a couple of interstate thieves, and Arvilla's unnecessary voice-over explanations.

As the fairly familiar set-up probably implies, the women experience a series of life-changing episodes while traveling, the first involving a helpful young man named Bo (Victor Rasuk), who not only fixes their flat tire but also embodies a convenient object lesson for Arvilla, in that he's fulfilling a promise to his long-dead mother by finding his long-absent father. As luck would have it, they also meet a trucker, Emmett (Tom Skerritt), who falls instantly in love with charismatic, rambunctious Margene, while Carol, an observant Mormon, loosens up just long enough to play a Vegas slot machine, win $176,483, and have a glass of vodka to celebrate.

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