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Along Came Wanda film review

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

★★★

Directed by: Jan Miller Corran

Written by: Jan Miller Corran

Starring: Constance Brenneman, Cathy DeBuono, Roberta Hanlen, Monica Young

 
Poster for Along Came Wanda showing protagonists.
Poster for Along Came Wanda

While going through a divorce, a woman goes on a road trip with a friend and during the journey she learns more about life and herself.


Mary Beth (Brenneman) is a mother with a teenage son and she is in the process of splitting up with her husband after many years together. Hoping to find some solace, she decides to take time off with her new friend Wanda (DeBuono) and go on a sort of holiday together in Wanda's motorhome, with the intention of travelling, having a good time and attending a photo contest, as Mary Beth used to be a professional photographer. Along the way the two friends find out more about each other, go camping and visit a meditation retreat and Wanda's friend Davina (Hanlen), who works as a world-famous psychic.


This is an uplifting female buddy road movie comedy-drama, which explores themes of friendship, family and self-discovery. It tells the story about a woman whose marriage is over and is now entering a new chapter of her life, leading to better things both for her and her friend. The mood is generally cheerful, with the characters often in a good mood, supporting one another and looking at the bright side of life. There are also emotional moments, fortune-telling and a few awkward scenes, one of which involves the conversation between two people inside a bathtub.


The main focus is the rapport that develops between Mary Beth and Wanda. At first, they know little about each other and as they spend more time together, they gradually build a strong relationship. The narrative explores Mary Beth's character rather intimately, revealing a past affair with a female model, suggesting that she is attracted to women as well as men. Mary Beth appears to accept that more and more throughout the film and embraces it.


Brenneman is convincing as an intelligent, down-to-earth person who is going through a divorce and does not seem to know where her life is going to go from there. DeBuono is entertaining as her adventurous, optimistic friend, who is also a bit childish.


The story takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic and characters often talk about it and there is of course social distancing and face masks.


The movie includes an interesting storytelling technique that consists of Mary Beth breaking the fourth wall, looking into the camera and addressing the audience. By utilizing this technique, the filmmakers help the viewer sympathize with her and understand her better.


Corran does a terrific job as director, creating wonderful aerial shots and beautiful shots of the sky.


Kanoa Wolfe-Doblin delivers a score that is uplifting, creating a feel-good atmosphere. At certain points though, the music is appropriately dramatic.


This feature is a light-hearted and emotional journey of self-discovery. It is about overcoming personal obstacles, learning about oneself and finding happiness. For its positivity and cheery perspective on life, it is a movie worth watching.

 

Trailer for Along Came Wanda:

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