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A destitute family finds a new home thanks to kindness and understanding
Trigger Warning(s): Tooth Extraction | Transphobia
Review (with Spoilers)
Ruthie (Stefania LaVie Owen) | Marty (Richard Kind) | Rita (Katie Holmes) | Peter Pam (Eve Lindley)
All Rita wanted was for her daughter Ruthie to have a better life than she did. Problem is, Rita doesn’t have anything to her name besides a car and a long string of bad relationships. Yet, things maybe looking up. After trying to dine and dash she meets a forgiving man named Marty who gives her a job and from there things were kind of looking up. Though with Rita’s history of men, and some already sniffing around her skirt, who knows if her bad pattern will persist or if she will finally do right by Ruthie.
Thank you for inquiring about between my legs. I’m sure if you got to know me it’s what’s between my ears which is more interesting.
— All We Had
The relationship between Peter Pam (a name I’m not sure is the character’s assigned named and chosen name, or what) and Ruthie, as well as her relationship with Marty, I felt was so precious. To the point, you almost wished this movie was about her struggle with being trans, desiring to go to New York, but being ever so fearful about making it.
Good Stories With Weak Development
If you look at each individual character, there is an interesting story to tell. With Rita, you have a woman who grew up in the foster system who is probably in no way prepared to be a mother, yet she is trying her best. Of course, her best sometimes may not seem good enough, and she is probably doing more damage to Ruthie than she ever intended, since stability is not part of their lives, but she is trying. Then, switching to Ruthie, she has this mom that has given her a nomad life. One in which she has to steal to survive since her mom rarely has more than a few dollars in her pocket, from doing who knows what. Yet, this isn’t the life she wants. She wants to go to school, maybe meet a cute guy and get to know him, friends! But someone has to take care of her mom. She has no one else. A statement which applies both ways.
Then with Marty and Peter Pam you have the trans thing and him sticking up for her, and even the characters who aren’t necessarily noteworthy, since they don’t leave a strong impression, they could have had their stories beefed up to really mean something. That is, rather than this movie, assumingly, trying to make sure every character from its book source being noted and us getting a watered down version of the character.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
Like many an ensemble picture, with the film making it seem everyone could be the star, no one gets focused on, nor really developed enough, to have a quality performance. Which isn’t to say the characters don’t grow and change throughout the film, it is just the focus is so split that you don’t get to witness and feel the full emotional weight of it. But, despite saying that, it is always nice to see more trans characters. Lavie Owen seems like she can have a decent career ahead of her and I’m leaving it at that.