What You Need To Know:
(Ro, FR, LL, SS, NN, A, M) Romantic worldview with animistic elements; 12 obscenities & 2 profanities; one adulterous kiss & three implied acts of fornication with depicted foreplay; woman takes off dress to swim, obscured full female nudity, photo of phallus, brief female frontal nudity, & upper male nudity; alcohol use; and, marijuana use.
DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures
GENRE: Romantic Drama
HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT is a warm, morally confused picture that focuses on the ties that unite a group of women and their stories of past loves. Winona Ryder plays Finn, a graduate student at Berkeley. Engaged, she is getting cold feet about the big commitment. Finn decides to spend the summer with her grandmother Hy and great aunt Glady Joe to think over her engagement and work on her masters thesis on “Handiwork among Tribal Women.” In the process, not only does she have an affair, but she learns stories of lost loves from the Grasse Quilting Bee, a group of seamstresses specializing in quilts who meet at the house.
Set in Northern California, the scenery is picturesque, and the photography of old homes and beautiful fabrics provides a feeling of nostalgia. It is pleasant to see such determined women creating beautiful works of art. Of course, this pseudo-American ambience covers up the immoral heart of the movie. This movie may touch those stung by the pain of lost love, divorce, death, and other emotional woes surrounding relationships, but it doesn’t provide a message in support of virtue, marriage or love. These women are ungrounded in a moral framework, and, unlike a meticulous quilt pattern, find their lives frayed and torn. They are beautiful in their God-given humanity, but soiled through sin and a lack of knowledge of the truth.
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