Baja Oklahoma is a wonderful HBO Original Film that is remembered primarily as an early Julia Roberts vehicle, but deserves much more than that! Written by 'Semi-Tough' scribe Dan Jenkins, the film crackles with great one-liners, inspired casting, and a 'Cinderella' storyline that's hard to beat.
Lesley Ann Warren (who's never been feistier or more beautiful) is Juanita, a good-hearted Texas woman with a string of bad relationships, an 18-year old daughter (Roberts) running off to Aspen with a dope-pushing boyfriend, a dead-end job waitressing at a bar, and dreams of being a songwriter. Her best friend/fellow waitress, Doris (the fabulous Swoozie Kurtz) cheats on her husband regularly, rationalizing her infidelities ("I ain't havin' relationships, I'm gettin' laid!") and depending on her to back up her alibis; her bar patrons (including singer Billy Vera and the terrific William Forsythe) are an undependable but very likable collection of oddballs.
When Juanita's high school flame (Peter Coyote) returns to town for his father's funeral, her life begins to turn around. Both have been burned but still remain optimistic, and he believes in her talent. All she needs is some good advice (provided by Vera), a little management (offered by local deejay Anthony Zerbe, who's a hoot), some inspiration (from Coyote, of course!), and a little luck, and her dreams just might come true!
Filled with classic country tunes, appearances by Emmylou Harris, John Mayall, and Willie Nelson, and a terrific title tune by Jenkins and Nelson, this is a 'feel-good' movie that may just bring a tear to your eye by the finale. It's that good!
So if you watch this simply to see Julia Roberts, prepare to be enchanted by another 'Pretty Woman'!
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