Charming the Hearts of Men

Though the story here is a work of fiction, it is inspired by true events. Probably many stitched together to make one story. Little bits of different people’s realities. That is as romantic and quaint an idea as this film attempts to be itself. A film about a different time and a feel like it is from a different time in film history.

After the death of her father, a beloved member of the community, twice-divorced and now single Grace Gordon (Anna Friel – from the television’s The Girlfriend Experience) returns to her small hometown in the South. It seems as if she is the last one left of her family, so after the funeral, Grace goes to see the town’s money man only to have him inform her that there is no money left. She is broke. Broke, single and with no real skills which would get her a job. In a pickle, it looks like the family home and land, which had been in the family for generations, is on the verge of being repossessed.

Determined to not have that happen, Grace plots, with the help of the family cook (Starletta DuPois – The NotebookFriday After Next) and her granddaughter, Jubilee (Pauline Dyer – Get on Up, A Stone Cold Christmas), two courses of action – finding a job or finding a new husband. She even sells some of her jewelry to the local pawn shop owned by George (Sean Astin – from television’s Stranger Things) to get a bit of money. It becomes painfully clear to Grace that there are not only plenty of race issues in her town but also that women have little to no power to live their own lives or protections offered by the law.

After sitting through several uncomfortable dinners with prospective husbands, her best option is a Congressman (Kelsey Grammer – from television’s Cheers). Inspired by him and a chance meeting with a young single mother, Ruth (Tina Ivlev – has appeared in episodes of Shameless and The Rookie), who works at the local brothel, Grace comes up with an idea that will not only save her family home but will inspire change.

An interesting story coupled with plenty of solid acting by the largely veteran cast equals a good film. Not a great one as there are some flaws but the overall quality paves them over. It is a film about change and how in most instances it has to be fought for. Those in power (usually white men) do not willingly hand it over; it has to be fought for.

Stories like this are important to watch. Especially now as we are undergoing strife and hopefully heading towards change. Change for the better. For the better of those who have been considered less than for millenium – blacks and women. It is important to begin to understand how the change began. Even if this is not historically based, it still depicts how things must happen. With each of us doing something. No matter how small or insignificant we might think it.

Though it depicts rather important issues, the overall tone of the film is a light one. Humour is mixed in with some dark moments. What happens is a little predictable and the fact that those who bring about the change are all white might be seen as offensive. Still an entertaining film.

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