6 September 2011 | inkblot11
A journey of great sadness, this is, but helpful for those having trouble coping with loss
James (David James Elliott) and his wife, Meredith (Penelope Ann Miller) are on a picnic with their children, when the movie starts. Older child Maggie (Alicia Morton) and younger son Jack seem to be having a great time with their folks, although Jack is upset when he asks for ketchup and gets mustard from his mom. Could Meredith be distracted? Not long after, James' beloved father dies, Opti (Robert Loggia) and James takes it hard. Fast forward. Now, a year later, we see that James' extended grief has put the couple in counseling for a year but, to no avail. Meredith wants a divorce. Stung, James decides to take Maggie on a camping trip, like ones he used to enjoy with Opti, leaving Jack and Meredith to have some quality time at home. At first, Maggie doesn't like sleeping in a tent or fishing. But, soon, father and daughter are having a quietly significant adventure. The scenery is beautiful beyond measure and they meet up with a bevy of characters. Will James and Maggie find peace, a peace that will help them accept the future changes? This is lovely film, but hardly entertaining, being very sad. The performances are quite good, however, and the wilderness venues are breathtaking. With a thoughtful script and a deft direction, the film is certainly of fine quality. Those experiencing any loss, from death to divorce themselves, will benefit from a showing. Others may find it intriguing, too, but everyone should be prepared to cry, not laugh.