Natalie Portman rose to the top of the box office with The Phantom Menace, but she had another movie in 1999 by the name of Anywhere but Here, which was anywhere but at the top. It's not very surprising that Anywhere but Here didn't do very well, since it is a boring and annoying movie.
Anywhere but Here also stars Susan Sarandon, and it is because of her that I turned this movie off halfway through. Not only was this movie boring but her character was annoyingly insane. The movie is about to be about a teenage girl who's more mature than her mother... that is true, but that doesn't change the fact that Sarandon's character is extremely annoying. Every once in a while she acts normal, but the rest of the time she is pretending about being wealthy or something along those lines. No wonder her daughter (in the movie) hates her so.
The movie isn't badly done. Natalie Portman does a good job, and, really, so does Sarandon, even though she is pretty annoying. The plot is simple but decent enough, circling around a mother and daughter trying to make it in Los Angeles. But the fact is that Anywhere but Here is so slow and tedious that it is hard to watch. Portman and Sarandon fight, make up, fight, make up, fight, make up, and so forth. There aren't really any big plot developments, although things begin to take shape partway through.
I don't know what else to say except to tell Portman that she should stay away from coming-of-age dramas. Her 2000 feat Where the Heart Is isn't anything to scream about, and the only reason that movie bombed was because it was slow and didn't have any exciting plot developments. Sound familiar? Yes.
As for Sarandon, she'll just blow this film off her shoulders, but the fact is that this movie exists. Anywhere but Here doesn't have anything of interest to offer. I'd like to see Natalie Portman become a star as much as several other millions of people, but she's not going to do it surviving off the Star Wars films alone.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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