Movie Review: ‘Tennessee’Published by Clay Cane on Friday, June 5, 2009 at 12:00 am.
Summary: Two brothers travel from New Mexico to Tennessee to find their abusive father. After one of them learns they have been diagnosed with Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, their father might be the only one who could save them. On the way to Tennessee they meet a waitress and aspiring singer (Mariah Carey).
Review: The reviews are going to be harsh on “Tennessee.” The wannabe tear-jerker had the potential to be great, but misses the punch and vigor that a “heavy” movie like this needs: cancer, child abuse, domestic violence, etc. You have to hit the viewer with some excellent writing to not throw them in an inescapable depression.
Every so often “Tennessee” has some great moments. The film, directed by Aaron Woodley, has moments where it is almost award-worthy then quickly falls apart in expected sappiness that leaves you huffing and puffing. Still, even the reasons why “Tennessee” is not an incredible film are respectable. It is not doused in stereotypes, the cast is diverse and the intention is good. For some reason, the dynamic failed and the conflicts were weak for a film that was probably a better book than movie.
So the big question is—How was Mariah? Surprisingly, Mrs. Cannon was the light in an otherwise morbid and boring film. She had flair, swagger and a convincing Texas accent. Unfortunately, “Glitter,” which was nearly eight years ago, still rings in the minds of many when it comes to Carey’s acting skills. However, the legendary pop diva plays it smart. Since “Glitter,” she has picked wise roles—usually in independent movies where she is not the lead. Whether or not people want to admit it, Carey has natural talent – she doesn’t have the Madonna acting curse. Unfortunately, her bad movie was her first. But, after “Precious,” Mariah will be fully redeemed as an actress.
That said, there is not enough Mariah. It is a plot that cannot sustain itself. Yes, there are moments where it does pull together — but “Tennessee” would be better on Lifetime than on the big screen.
“Tennessee” is in theaters today.