JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR
Families in Turmoil
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, John Hurt,
Robert Patrick, Kevin Bacon,
Robert Duvall, Ray Stevenson,
Katherine LaNasa, Tippi
Hedren, Shawnee Smith
Runtime: 121 minutes
Distributor: Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Executive Producer: James D. Brubaker, Mark C.
Manuel, Sergei Bespalov,
Producer: Geyer Kosinski, Alexander
Writer: Billy Bob Thornton, Tom
Address Comments To:John Malone, Chairman
Greg Maffei, President/CEO, Liberty Media
Bill Clark, President, Anchor Bay Films
Chris Albrecht, CEO/President, Starz Media (Starz Entertainment/Anchor Bay Films)
2950 North Hollywood Way, 3d Floor
Burbank, CA 91505
Phone: (818) 748-4000; Fax: (818) 748-4619; Website: www.starz.com
Set in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War, the story follows the misadventures, both funny and serious, that occur when the two families have to interact despite severe cultural differences. The reason for this exchange is because the patriarch of the Southern family many years before had suffered his wife leaving him while visiting Scotland because she fell in love with another man. Now that she’s died, however, her wish is to be buried in the Southern family’s cemetery area. So, both families are trying to honor her wishes.
While that storyline causes a mix of humorous, serious and touching events to occur, the movie also has a major storyline where the family patriarch and one of his sons, a long-haired, frequently high hippie, fight over the Vietnam War. Their relationship has been distant since the son returned from World War II with heavy emotional issues. The son is concerned that his own son is old enough for the Vietnam-era draft. He begs his son not to enlist.
JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR is the first writing-directing effort for Thornton in several years, after his DADDY & THEM barely earned release, but he’s renowned for his superb debut movie SLING BLADE. Here, he tries again to capture Southern small-town life and a deep sense of sadness. Thornton hits the mark very well in some scenes, with a number of even beautifully written and performed monologues from various characters. However, the movie as a whole doesn’t have a clear storyline and feels too episodic to be fully effective. It’s also too slow-paced for the average moviegoer, but those willing to invest their time, thoughts, and emotions in this movie may feel rewarded.
That said, the movie’s worldview is mostly pagan, despite some redemptive, moral themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR also has abundant foul language, brief nudity, and other explicit content. So, extreme caution is warranted.
JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR has some funny, dramatic and touching moments. There are several beautifully written and performed monologues from various characters, played by veteran actors. However, the movie doesn’t have a clear storyline and is too episodic to be fully effective. It’s also too slow-paced for the average moviegoer. Finally, despite some elements of forgiveness and reconciliation, the movie contains abundant foul language, brief nudity and other explicit moments. So, extreme caution is warranted for JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR.