First Hit: This film never felt like it left the ground and soared, yet in ways it depicted being grounded and giving the illusion of learning how to soar.
Jennifer Aniston is one of those beautiful women who are also good at looking plain. In this film she plays Sue, a successful saleswoman who sells motel room art.
On her journey she stays at a family owned motel in Kingman, Arizona where she meets Mike the lovelorn and lost son of the motel owners. Mike is played by Steve Zahn. We watch Mike give Sue the high and low look when she is at the front desk checking into the motel. Mike sees her beauty and also thinks, probably because her plain and forlorn air, he might have a chance at meeting her.
His plot is to take up an old stale bottle of wine to her room and position it as the “standard complimentary welcome” gift. He does this and gets basically a cold shoulder. Not a great scene but the story starts here because it reveals a real life sense of each the characters. You see Sue working on her computer but she is playing solitaire, you sense the awkwardness of their interaction, you see the loneliness in their looks and the stilted dialog. When she lets him touch her butt it is both funny and deeply revealing moment for both, her disconnection from the act and his amazement that he’s touching her butt.
Then there is one section of dialog when Mike asks Sue if she wants kids. These resulting scenes move the film forward; Sue looking for herself and Mike hoping he’s part of Sue’s life.
Aniston gives a strong performance as a road warrior looking for a place to land while keeping herself so busy she ignores that her life is passing her by. However, she gets traction on her life and Aniston makes good on her promise of intelligent beauty. Zahn didn’t impress me at the beginning of the film; I didn’t see the diamond in the rough, and this is how it was suppose to be. It worked, and as Zahn makes his transformation through the film I actually started to believe he would be a good match for Aniston.
Overall: As a “small” film (as my friend called it), it stood out as something enjoyable to watch and it does give pause and cause towards thought days after seeing it.