Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

Directed By: Bruce Beresford

Starring: Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Elizabeth Olsen, Chace Crawford, Nat Wolff, Marissa O'Donnell, Kyle MacLachlan, and Rosanna Arquette

If you were a hippie back in the day, you're now officially old.  The 60s were a long, long time ago, and the world has changed quite a bit.  There's one thing that hasn't changed.  People still love weed.  That's why we need hippie grandmothers like Jane Fonda's Grace in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding.  Somebody's got to grow the good stuff.

New York City attorney Diane (Catherine Keener) is always fighting.  She can never let her guard down.  Her husband Mark (Kyle MacLachlan) is tired of it and wants a divorce.  Diane isn't quite ready to deal with that, so she decides to take her children Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and Jake (Nat Wolff) to visit her estranged hippie mother Grace (Fonda) in Woodstock.  Having had a dream about a sparrow and two peacocks the night prior, Grace is not too surprised to see her daughter arriving with her two grandchildren. 

As the family gets settled in Woodstock for the week, Grace gets very involved in their love lives.  She helps Jake woo a local girl named Tara (Marissa O'Donnell).  She helps Zoe overcome her vegetarian beliefs and start a relationship with a young butcher named Cole (Chace Crawford).  She even helps her daughter Diane to find a little romance with a guy named Jude (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).  Still, she manages to screw up like any parent.  With a large supply of homegrown marijuana in her basement, she gets high with her grandchildren.  She even manages to piss off her daughter by being the same woman who drove her crazy years ago.  Despite her efforts, Grace helps Diane remember why she hasn't visited her mother in 20 years.

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is cheesy.  It's sappy.  It's saccharine.  I don't care though because it's one funny movie.  Whether obsessing over nature, having strange night of the moon rituals, or just puffing the magic dragon, this cast is having fun throughout the film.  They could be singing some of the crappiest music that I've ever heard, but they're having a good time.  That's all that matters.  Because they're having a good time, we're having a good time as moviegoers.  Their fun translates to plenty of laughs and good wholesome entertainment.

It's good to see Jane Fonda back on the big screen.  As hippie grandmother Grace, the veteran actress shows us that she's still got some comedic chops.  She delivers most of the laughs throughout the movie.  I'm not Catherine Keener's biggest fan because I think she's a rather bland, one-note actress.  Despite my bias, the tightly wound Diane is a good character for her, and she does a decent job playing the straight man of the cast so to speak.  Elizabeth Olsen continues to expand her resume.  This young actress keeps showing us her versatility as she appears in drastically different films and does well in all of them.  She's one to keep an eye on in the future.

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is a fun little flick.  It's certainly not the best movie ever made, but it gets the job done.  This indie comedy-drama gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer while welcoming Jane Fonda back to the big screen.  Look out for a cameo from Katharine McPhee as well.