Jane Fonda as Invisible Grandparent!

Jane Fonda latest movie “Peace Love and Mis-Understanding,” made me cry: my criteria for a good movie. Aging hippie flower-child aptly named Jane Fonda, sporting a long curly grey streaked wig, is surprised by a visit to her Woodstock farm by her 40-something stuffy NYC attorney daughter (Catherine Keener) and her teenage children. For reasons soon to emerge, this estranged mother hasn’t spoken to or seen them in 20 years. I realized she is an invisible grandparent too!
Jane, aptly named Grace, lives in Woodstock and is the earth mother, spiritual guide to a lot of weirdo’s who show up throughout: naked men at breakfast, peace demonstrators, musicians, some of whom were of course former lovers, women drumming and chanting to the full-moon, etc.
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While the character arcs were a bit swift: nerdy virgin teenage son gets his first kiss from a local barrista, his politically correct vegetarian daughter falls for the all-too-cute son of the local butcher and comes to realize killing for food can have a purpose; it’s Grace’s push for reconciliation of the mother/daughter conflict that led to the estrangement that got to me. The close-ups of Jane’s wrinkled face (she’s 74!) and the backstory shown in photo’s, as the unplugging of daughter Catherine’s stuffed feelings occurs, make the emotion palpable. Fittingly the public screening of grandson’s movie is titled ‘Love in Woodstock.’ Love is what’s been withheld, and love is what’s beneath everything: and even after all these years of hiding it, it can be fun, Go!

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