I enjoyed the Hudson Valley and Catskills settings of PEACE, LOVE & MISUNDERSTANDING, where I used to spend a lot of time, and which have a picturesque charm. They also seem a little frozen in time, even as they have become more crowded, with the ’60s living on in the iconography of Woodstock and a gentile sense of the “country” in overt contrast to nearby Manhattan.
The likable – and high powered – cast acquits itself well, even though no one in the supposed family whose story the film tells looks to be related to any of the others. The film is ultimately a sentimental comedy, which flirts just enough with the possibility of denying the audience the emotional payoffs it promises to keep things interesting, but finally gives in to the underlying formula.
I would have preferred an edgier outcome, but not to the point that I didn’t enjoy myself or partake of the film’s many rewards, which was to be expected of Bruce Beresford, a director of long and considerable accomplishment.
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