Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Our Very Own|
Actors: Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, Cheryl Hines, Beth Grant, Jason Ritter
Director: Cameron Watson
Hot, up-and-coming teen stars Jason Ritter, Hilarie Burton and Autumn Reeser and four-time Emmy® Award winner Allison Janney head the cast of Our Very Own, the engaging coming-of-age story about believing in your dreams. ... more »
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Sharon C. (sharonc9630) from KNOXVILLE, TN
Reviewed on 6/21/2008...
A coming of age film, I enjoyed it. I liked the interesting characters in the movie. Not earth shattering and no hidden messages, just a pleasant movie about friends in Shelbyville TN
"Our Very Own' is the new "American Graffiti"
Brian Mosely | Tullahoma, TN | 04/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"REVIEW: "Our Very Own' is the new "American Graffiti"
Monday, August 15, 2005
By Brian Mosely
Cameron Watson's film, "Our Very Own," is a wonderful, heartfelt and true-to-life tribute to the town and the people of Shelbyville; the place that gave him the inspiration to reach for the top and get there by coming back home to tell his unique story.
As someone who grew up in neighboring Tullahoma during the same time period, this reviewer was overcome with memories when the trailer for the film was posted on the Internet back in February.
But after viewing the movie twice this weekend, it only can be said that the time and place depicted in "Our Very Own" is perfection, pulled from the writer and director's experiences, loving recollections magically brought to life, ones that many in this town share.
The year is 1978; a time in which there was still some type of innocence left in the world. Five teens -- played by Jason Ritter, Autumn Reeser, Hilarie Burton, Derek Carter and Michael McKee -- are spending the summer with nothing to do but borrow Mom's car to go cruising. It's long before the Internet, cell phones and sky-high gas prices -- and no video games are in existence except for "Pong."
So when the rumors start flying that the hometown girl who made it big, "our very own" Sondra Locke, is to return for the 39th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the teens are sent into a frenzy. Resser's character, Melora Kendal, becomes obsessed with the thought of being discovered and following in Locke's footsteps.
At the same time, her best friend, Clancy Whitfield (Ritter), is falling for Melora but is dealing with a deepening crisis at home. His father Billy, played by Academy Award-winner Keith Carradine, is spiraling down a dark path of destruction brought about by grief and guilt, while his mother (Allison Janney) tries to keep the family and her dignity together.
Life in Shelbyville is wistfully portrayed as the rural South once was. Every performance is dead on target, from Carradine's too brief, but effective, work as a man whose life has fallen out from under him to Resser's bright-eyed youth who yearns for more than her life seems to offer.
Janney's work as Joan, a woman trying to keep her world from falling apart, is something that hasn't been seen in film in recent memory. She feels as trapped in her life as the kids do, effectively brought to life when she realizes in one scene at a ladies' town meeting that no one has ever left Shelbyville. Her rapid shift in emotions reflects the chaos her life is becoming.
Ritter has the difficult job of playing a character who's living a double life, trying to balance his time with his tight group of friends with the unfolding tragedy at home, and pulls it off with staggering realism.
Resser's Melora is a striking ray of sunshine and naive optimism who reaches for the stars and knows she'll make it, if she can just get that one break like her idol Locke did.
Beth Grant is dead on authentic as Melora's mother Virginia, a chain-smoking Southern woman who seems to spend all of her time cooking, sewing and sadly shaking her head at whatever scheme the kids cook up next. Equally effective is Amy Landers as Melora's sister Rhonda, who seems resigned to the life that's been handed to her.
Cheryl Hines plays Sally, best friend to Joan since high school and key linchpin in the local rumor mill. She fulfills her role as the person who's always there -- with a shoulder to cry on and receive support from with understated grace.
Academy Award-nominated Mary Badham, who returns to film after almost 40 years, speaks no words in her all too short time on screen but says more with her eyes than most current performers are able to express in two hours.
Other standout roles are Faith Prince's turn as the town busybody, Dale Dickey's sassy waitress [Skillet] at Pope's Cafe, Burton's always bored Bobbie Chester, whose choice in dates causes trouble for her friends, and McKee's Glen Tidwell, who is beginning to face up to certain truths about himself.
All are part of the tapestry that is part of life in Shelbyville, exquisitely brought back to vivid realization by Watson's masterful direction.
Production design is totally accurate to the time period and area, with local touches that only life-long residents would be able to spot. The score by John Swihart touches the heart with delicate adornment.
Aside from a little language that's appropriate but never excessive, "Our Very Own" is a long overdue film for the entire family, full of wit, whimsy and a glance at life as it once was and how many long for it to be again.
One wonders if there were any local kids who viewed the film this weekend that will be given the life-changing aspirations that moved the characters in the movie as it did in real life with Cameron Watson when he chose to strive for his dreams. The circle would truly be complete if the enchanted cycle were to begin again.
Cameron Watson's hometown movie about Shelbyville, Tenneesse
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can see where "American Graffiti" is an obvious point of cinematic reference for "Our Very Own," but while this 2005 film has the charm and sense of nostalgia that defined George Lucas's film, it does not have the same feeling of weight. But that is going to happen when one film has a character who will end up being reported MIA in Vietnam and the other has a character who is hoping to see the actress Sondra Locke. Still, first time writer-director-producer Cameron Watson, an actor who might be most recognizable for his role of Rick in the 2-part "The Other Side of Life" on "Grey's Anatomy" last season, has put together a nice little film about Shelbyville, Tennessee, where he went to high school. Watson was born in Lexington, Kentucky, but Sondra Locke was born and raised in Shelbyville (valedictorian of the class of 1962), which explains why the whole town gets excited
Sondra Locke was pretty much at the peak of her career back in 1978, which explains why everybody is excited about her new movie that year, "Every Which Way but Loose" came out. The previous two years Locke had starred in "The Gauntlet" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales," so on the one hand you have to wonder why nobody is wondering if Clint Eastwood is going to show up, but on the other if you know how their 12-year romance ended you can understand why his name would be taboo in this film. But all that matters is that as far as Shelbyville is concerned they are all excited that their very own favorite daughter is coming home to kick off the annual walking horse competition for which the city is best known.
Ostensibly this film focuses on a group of young friends trying to figure out the rest of their lives. Melora Kendall (Autumn Reeser) is the one who is giddy with the thought of meeting Locke, while Bobbie Chester (Hilarie Burton) just wants to borrow the car from her momma (Beth Grant) and check out the nightlife in Nashville. The two girls hang out with a trio of guys. Glen (Michael McKee) is not quite out of the closet, Ray (Derek Carter) who does not have much to say, and Clancy Whitfield (Jason Ritter), whose family life is about to implode. His father Billy (Keith Carradine) has been drinking more and more since he lost his job and now his mother Joan (Allison Janney) is finding her dinning room furniture is being repossessed and is worried about losing the family home. So while the kids are in the forefront of this movie, is what it happening with Clancy's family that our attention gravitates towards, especially given Janney's performance.
Much is made by the fact that Watson got Mary Badham (Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird") to do her first film in almost 40 years to play Mrs. Nutbush, but the more impressive testament to this film is that his script got Janney to play Clancy's mother. Janney is 6 feet tall, but Carradine is an inch taller and that matters in this film as Billy makes his wife look small. Joan knows that the train wreck her life is fast becoming will be grist for the town's gossip mill and she is trying to retain her dignity. At least Joan's best friend, Sally Crowder (Cheryl Hines) is a true friend and can help lessen the indignities that Billy is heaping on her. Playing C.J. Cregg on "The West Wing" earned Janney four Emmy Awards, but she has had trouble finding movie roles worthy of her talents ("American Beauty" being the exception proving the rule in this case). Joan Whitfield is a supporting role in the film in the dynamic of this film, but you are drawn to Janney in virtually every scene in which she appears.
The time frame of this movie precludes much happening in terms of resolution to the Whitfield family problems, let alone Clancy's budding romance with Melora, Melora's quest to become an actress, or most of the other pressing concerns of these young folks that week in Shelbyville. But if Bobbie can just get Ricky Pranger (John Will Clay) out of her hair, that would put these kids ahead of the game. "Our Very Own" is a small film that celebrates small moments, and the key moments in this film are the simplest of beginnings. Beyond Janney's performance, the most impressive thing about this film is how the people of Shelbyville supported what Watson was doing. You look at the end credits of this film and you have to wonder if there actually are any businesses in town that do not get mentioned. This is not a product of Hollywood; it is a hometown movie if every I have seen one."
COMING OF AGE
COUNTRY COWBOY | Fl. | 04/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OUR VERY OWN
LIVING IN A SMALL TOWN IN 1978 HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS TRY TO GET THROUGH GRADUATING AND TRY TO FIND A PLACE AND TO FIT IN A SMALL TOWN. THE UP ROAR OF A MOVIE STAR COMING TO TOWN IS ALL THEY HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO. THERE IS NOT MUCH THEY CAN TO LOOK FORWARD TO, SO THEY TRY TO MAKE A PLACE FOR THEM SELVES. NOT MUCH HOPE , THE MAIN EMPLOYER HAS LAID OFF MANY OF THE TOWNS WORKFORCE INCLUDING CAL'S DAD. JASON RITTER IS VERY GOOD IN HIS PART. LOST AND NOT HAVING MUCH HOPE, OR DREAMS. HE SEEMS ACKNOWLEDGE THIS FACT.
HE DOES NOT HAVE MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO, HIS DAD OUT OF WORK, FURNITURE REPOSED, CAR, NOW THE HOUSE. HE SHOWS COURAGE WHILE THIS IS GOING ON TRYING TO KEEP HIS MOTHER FROM BREAKING SOWN AS HER FAMILY GOES BROKE, FIGHTS, AND DISAPPOINTMENT.
THIS LEADS YOU THINKING THAT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE STUDENTS AFTER GRADUATION. WILL THEY LEAVE HOME? WILL THEY REACH THEIR HOPES AND DREAMS? WILL THEY BE STUCK IN SHELBEVILLE LEADING THE SAME LIFE AS THEIR PARENTS?