Miscast Renee Zellweger spoils potentially fun ‘My One and Only’

Some people seem to have lived more interesting lives than their public image would suggest, and George Hamilton, apparently, is one of them.

You really don’t remember George Hamilton?

He has kind of faded off the map in recent years. In the early 1960s he was a promising young male ingenue, then became a mainstay of game shows and talk shows, famous (almost exclusively, after a certain point) for his impeccable tan.

But he’s also renowned as a charming raconteur and one of his life stories comes to the screen in a fictionalized way in “My One and Only,” a lamely titled account of his teen experiences.

The year is 1953 and Ann Deveraux (played by Renee Zellweger) has had enough of her philandering husband (Kevin Bacon), a Manhattan bandleader who spends most of his time on the road.

Taking her two sons in tow, she buys a spectacular Cadillac convertible and heads in the direction of any place that will offer either an old flame or a new prospect for marriage.

The teenage sons are Robbie (Mark Rendall), an effeminate lad with acting ambitions, and George (Logan Lerman), a cynical wit who prefers stability to the nomadic life.

The episodic tale covers most of the United States, as Ann sorts through various suitors. Each has a reason for not working out, always leaving Ann with an empty bankbook.

One of the problems with the movie and Charlie Peters’ script is that these episodes aren’t hugely distinctive, except for a sequence involving a St. Louis paint tycoon (David Koechner). That one has a great punch line.

We see things, naturally enough, from the perspective of 15-year-old George, who will someday become George Hamilton. Logan Lerman, who appeared in “3:10 to Yuma” and also stars in this week’s “Gamer,” looks right enough for the role — but perhaps lacks the movie-star dazzle that would distinguish a future matinee idol.

The film itself, directed by veteran Richard Loncraine, is like that: amusing at times, well appointed, but missing an ingredient that would make it compelling to watch.

As for Renee Zellweger, she labors hard at her role, but her pinched presence isn’t right for this expansive, allegedly fascinating lady.

“My One and Only” (1 ½ stars)

A weak telling of a tale drawn from the teen years of actor George Hamilton, when his mother (Renee Zellweger) took her teenage boys on a cross-country odyssey away from her philandering husband. Some witty moments, but Zellweger isn’t a grand enough personality for the role.

Rated: PG-13 for subject matter

Showing: Guild 45th, Pacific Place, Thornton Place Stadium 14

More in Life

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Taylor Johnston waters a philodendron at her home on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Three guidebooks to help the novice houseplant gardener

Indoor plants are popular again — and we’re not talking about your grandma’s African violets.

Plant of Merit: Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata,’ Japanese aralia

What: Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata,’ or variegated Japanese aralia, is an evergreen shrub… Continue reading

Don’t call Justice Brewing owner a gypsy — he’s just ‘homeless’

After an unexpected hardship, owner Nate McLaughlin won’t be moving his brewery to downtown Everett.

A mild December makes for easy winter cleanup in the garden

If you haven’t finished your November gardening tasks, here’s a list of chores to do this month.

Beer of the Week: Justice Brewing’s Outlook F——d, Northeast IPA

The brewery’s new beer with a vulgar name is a tropical IPA that riffs off its Outlook Hazy recipe.

Yummy Banh Mi offers cheap sandwiches with rich flavor

Classic Vietnamese meets fast food at new restaurant in downtown Everett.

Could a law to bring down the mob be used in Weinstein case?

The federal anti-racketeering law was drafted to bring down organized crime but it isn’t limited to it.

This author is throwing a virtual party for book lovers

Jennifer Bardsley is hosting a Facebook get-together for young-adult book authors and readers.

Most Read