26 March 2001 | sct
Funny & insightful portrait of fatherhood and middle-age.
"The Young Girl and the Monsoon" is a sort of middle-age coming-of-age story, about Hank, an award-winning photojournalist (Terry Kinney, "The House of Mirth"), and his efforts to forge a connection with the women in his life. Hank has never been a great communicator -- at least not in words. He has always put his career ahead of his family, and his relationship with his 13-year-old daughter, Constance (Ellen Muth, "Dolores Claiborne"), is based mostly on worn-out parables from his youth. When his ex-wife remarries, Constance moves in with Hank for three months, and he soon discovers that he barely knows the angry, temperamental girl who has taken over his life. She's never even met his girlfriend of more than a year, Erin (Mili Avital, "Polish Wedding"), and now it appears to be too late; Erin has left him and taken up with a rival photographer. As he approaches, Hank realizes that, if he's going to be happy, he has to reassess his priorities and learn how to reconnect to the women he loves.
Also starring Diane Venora ("Hamlet," "The Insider"), "The Young Girl and the Monsoon" is a promising first film from longtime playwright Ryan. He paints an insightful, touching and often funny portrait of both adolescence and early middle age, with complex, compelling characters that always ring true.