Surrender Dorothy (2006) Movie Review

A Diane Keaton star vehicle produced as a made-for-cable original, Surrender Dorothy is a pleasure for fans of the always interesting Keaton even if its roots as a chick-of-a-certain-age-lit novel sometimes show through.

As a group of 30-ish friends gather Big Chill style for a month in the Hamptons, they can't know tragedy awaits. The core of the group is the enchanting Sara (Alex Davalos), the lifelong muse of her best friend, gay writer Adam (Tom Everett Scott), who shows up with his boyfriend Shawn (Chris Pine). Also in the group: Sara's school chums, Maddy (Lauren German) and her husband Peter (Josh Hopkins), along with their new baby.

No sooner do Adam and Sara drive off for a traditional first-night ice cream cone than their car is broadsided (rather spectacularly for a cable movie), and Sara is killed instantly. Adam, on the other hand, walks away only slightly injured. It's up to him to call Sara's overbearing mother Natalie (Keaton), who takes the call on her car phone and almost ends up dead herself when she loses control upon hearing the news.

A few days after the funeral, to which Natalie does not invite the friends, Natalie shows up uninvited at the Hamptons house and quickly stirs up trouble with her many overlapping manias. She starts to clean and can't stop. She asks endless questions about her daughter. She learns some secrets and reveals others, causing rifts among the group. Adam accuses her of smothering her daughter with nervous attention. She accuses Adam of preventing Sara from growing up (not to mention taking her out for ice cream). The friends alternately try to embrace Natalie with sympathy and push her away when her antics are too much, such as the moment when she refuses to let each of them have a small memento of Sara's.

In flashbacks we see just how controlling and difficult Natalie was as a mother, and once Natalie gets her hands on Sara's journal, which is written in Japanese, and asks a sushi chef to translate some of it, she begins to realize that the best-friend relationship she thought she had with Sara was nothing more than her own fantasy. Her little rituals, such as greeting Sara on the phone with the phrase "Surrender Dorothy" weren't as endearing as she thought they were.

All of this is a bit stagey and weepy, but it goes by briskly and Keaton is as watchable as always, even when she's being unbearable. The rest of the talented cast has little choice but to ride her wake. This is the Keaton show from start to finish.

Cast & Crew

Director : Charles McDougal

Producer : Diana Kerew

Comments

Surrender Dorothy (2006) Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2006

Advertisement

More Diane Keaton

Rob Reiner's 'And So It Goes' Is A Safe Bet At The Cinema This Weekend

Fresh from the critical and box office success of Behind The Candelabra, for which he made off with a haul of awards for his portrayal...

And So It Goes Trailer

Oren Little is a wealthy realtor well-known for his abhorrent personality and generally poisonous attitude towards anyone who disagrees with or annoys him. Having spent...

Diane Keaton On Woody Allen Molestation Allegations: "I Believe My Friend"

The controversy surrounding Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's bizarre family continues but Diane Keaton doesn't believe the rumours alleging Allen molested his adopted daughter.Diane Keaton...

Woody Allen Denies Sexual Abuse Again, As Oscars Move Into Sight

Woody Allen has responded to the claims of sexual abuse made by his daughter Dylan Farrow in an open letter published by the New York...

Advertisement

Diane Keaton Toasts Woody Allen At Golden Globes, While The Farrows Sharpen Their Pitchforks

With all the news headlines that came out of that fateful Golden Globes night last Sunday, Woody Allen’s tribute and Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement...

The Big Wedding Movie Review

An all-star cast very nearly goes down with the ship as filmmaker Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) indulges in relentlessly farcical silliness. Thankfully the actors...

The Big Wedding Trailer

Don and Ellie have been divorced for a long time but when their adopted son Alejandro and his fiancé Missy decide to get married, it...

Darling Companion Trailer

Beth and Joseph Winter have been married for several years but lately, she feels that he is growing more distant from her and more absorbed...

Advertisement