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

  • By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
  • Thursday, September 3, 2009 5:17pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

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

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Cameron Hewitt
Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen Valley looks pastoral but it hides a powerful dose of natural wonder.
Rick Steves’ Europe: In the Swiss Alps, the laws of nature rule

The travel guru learned to respect the power of nature in the shadow of Switzerland’s towering Jungfrau.

Inside Elle Marie Hair Studio in Smokey Point. (Provided by Acacia Delzer)
The best hair salon in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied. Here are the results.

For more than a thousand years, Czech leaders – from kings and emperors to Nazis, communists, and presidents – have ruled from Prague Castle, regally perched on a hill above the Vltava River. Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli
Rick Steves’ Europe: History lives in Prague and its hilltop castle

It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, having been spared from last century’s bombs.

Alarm clock in the middle of the night insomnia or dreaming
Trouble sleeping? Try these tips for getting a good night’s rest

Many adults turn to sleep aids, including alcohol, to help them rest, without realizing that their hectic lifestyles may be contributing to their sleeplessness.

The Stumbling Fiddler Band is scheduled to perform March 3 in Everett. (Photo provided by Port Gardner Bay Music Society)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with music by the Stumbling Fiddler Band in Everett.

I was charged an extra $250 for a mistaken car rental upgrade

When Leah Page picks up her rental car from Thrifty, it charges her a $250 upgrade fee. Can it do this without her permission, and how can she get a refund?

Naomi Jacobson as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer in "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at Village Theatre in Everett. (Auston James)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“Becoming Dr. Ruth,” which tells the sex therapist’s amazing back story, is now showing at Village Theatre in Everett.

Over 200 years, the magic lantern transformed into an educational peacock

Regarded as magic in the 1650s, this device was refined into the more scientific sounding sciopticon by the mid-1800s.

Market for sale plants. Many plants in pots
Snohomish Garden Club plans annual plant sale

The event is scheduled for April 27 at Swan’s Trail Farms. Proceeds will go to scholarships.

Start planting now so you can stop to smell your own roses all summer long

Late winter to early spring is perfect for planting roses. And with so many varieties to consider, there’s no time to waste.

The 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. (Mazda)
2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Cousins Penny Leslie and Sidney Baker work together on a mural inside a jail cell at the Mukilteo Police Department on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No more staring at blank canvas in Mukilteo police holding cells

Bright murals now adorn the walls. The artwork is intended to calm and relax detainees.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.