Cover Art and Menu: 5/10
The cover shows the main characters at the top of the DVD box, with a 1970’s pinto with a dog riding on the roof. The menus are decent, but again pretty basic. While I can say that I love the shot of the dog on top of the car, which randomly appeared in the film, the cover overall is just so-so. Much like the dog on the car, the film kind of left me with a feeling of “what was that all about?”
Extras & Features: 0/10
There are no real features here at all, unless you call a few previews of films features, and I for one do not.
The Movie: 6/10
Our Very Own seems to me to be a snapshot of five teenagers growing up in 1978 in the small town of Shelbyville, Tennessee. The kids are bored stiff living in a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business and their main source of entertainment in the evenings is to go to the local photography store on the square and stare at Melora’s (played by Autumn Reeser) high school picture. As a result, the story seems to partially focus on the idea of leaving Shelbyville to make it big in the real world. So far, so good.
But, the story seems to also want to track the family life of Clancy (Jason Ritter) as Clancy’s father battles alcohol addiction. Clancy’s father Billy (played by Keith Carradine) can’t keep a job, and Clancy’s mother (Allison Janney) is forced to deal with the embarrassment of losing her possessions in a town where everyone seems to know about the family’s problems before she does.
The main issue with Our Very Own is that it seems to take forever to get nowhere. There are too many subplots that take away from what could have been a very endearing story about these five kids. The film focuses on Melora’s passion for meeting Sondra Locke (think Clint Eastwood 1970’s fims) who is originally from Shelbyville, and is supposedly returning after gaining fame to grace the town during its horse show. Melora is convinced that by meeting Sondra Locke, she can somehow find her way to leave the small town and make it big. Then add that to the story about Clancy and his family, and things would have been fine, but the film deals with the idea of town bullies, a humorous issue about whether one of the teens Glenn (Michael McKee) is gay, and then a family that has seen their mother skip out on them, and the stories get a bit jumbled. The film ended up being a bit too ambitious for its own good.
On an up note, I felt that the performances were all quite good, especially the work done by young Autumn Reeser (minus the accent) and Jason Ritter (yes, he looks just like Jack Tripper from Three’s Company). Also Janney and Carradine were exceptional as a dysfunctional husband and wife, but there was just too much going on to allow any of the actors to really shine.
I will admit that perhaps this film may not have been made with me in mind as their core audience, so I had my 15 year old step-daughter watch it, and she “loved it.” When I asked her what specifically she liked, she stated that she really felt the pain of all of the characters, and it was a very touching film. Like I said, perhaps older males are not the type of draw that this film was seeking.
Video & Audio: 7/10
The audio and video were quite nicely transferred. The movie was crisp visually, and the 5.1 sound really worked.
This film is definitely a rental, if you are going to see it at all. I just don’t see a reason to own this one, as there was not enough here to make me want to view it over and over, and there were absolutely no extras to be had at all. My step-daughter, however, is really excited to watch this movie again, and more than likely that means more than once.
Overall Score 5/10