We think that today’s world is a confusing and worrisome place. Not that it isn’t but we seem to have lost sight of the fact that each era, decade or time has its own trials and tribulations. For instance, in the early 60s Americans had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, death of Marilyn Monroe, Cold War, the threat of nuclear war, and Civil Rights battles. Americans had their hands full.
This is the backdrop to this buddy road movie involving two teenage girls from a rural California town deciding they are going to drive thousands of miles to New York City to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. Most of the appeal of the film is its (for the most part) success at being a time capsule of the year 1962 in which the film takes place. Despite the heavy stuff going on in the U.S. at the time the mood of the film is rather light.
On the same day that film icon Marilyn Monroe died so did Ellie’s mom. Lost without her mother, Ellie (played by Liana Liberato) searches for her place in the world. Her father (played by Luke Wilson) also seems lost leaving the taking care of the kids mostly to Ellie. Her only escape seems to be playing dolls with her best friend Max (played by Isabelle Fuhrman).
Everything changes after Ellie receives a letter from former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a hero to Ellie’s mom. The letter was actually written by Ellie and Max’s friend Billy (played by Joel Courtney) hoping to cheer up Ellie. It has that effect and more. Ellie decides that the letter is a sign for her to go and seek out the former First Lady. After selling her mother’s piano for money and taking her father’s car, Ellie and Max set off on a road trip whose goal it is to meet Eleanor Roosevelt.
While trying to stay ahead of Ellie’s father and the police, the two teenagers meet an interesting array of people like escaped felon Frank Morris (played by Josh Lucas), teenage hunk Bud (played by Patrick Schwarzenegger) and Max’s Aunt Daisy (played by Jessica Alba).
-Audio Commentary with Director Kevin Connolly
-Audio Commentary with Writers Cecilia Contreras and Amy Garcia
-Previews for Emma’s Chance, Ratter, The Driftless Area, Hello My Name is Doris, Austenland, The Meddler