Peace, Love and Misunderstanding DVD Review


A great family film for those who actually want to spend some time with their families, catch up on their week over a cup of coffee, have some conversations about current events, check up on your emails and update your social network profiles… or maybe just have a nap.

Peace, Love and Misunderstanding
Director: Bruce Beresford 
Cast: Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen
Running time: 96
Age restriction: 16 D
Genre: comedy, drama

Plot Synopsis

Something about a lawyer on the verge of a divorce, so she absconds with her kids to her mother – who also happens to be a hippie, still living in the realm of peace, love, cannabis/hemp products and tie-dye…


I don’t know. Seriously, I actually watched this with my family – no one was interested in it. I recall my sister proclaiming “…*sigh*, BORING!” in between lazy internet surfing on her iPhone.

The Bottom Line

I truly believe the person who wrote this script took a puff or two of the devils parsley whilst writing it… with the result being a drawn out conversational piece (like, it’s made up of a bunch of boring conversations). It’s, like totally, about love, and vegetarians, and society, and the world… and stuff like such…

The unquestionable highlight of the film (and I’m amazed I got that far into it) comes on about the 75 min mark when they screen a short film – Catherine Keener’s son in the film makes a short art film of his own. This is a truly great little piece of filmmaking. It comprises an observers take on a unique community of people, the kindling of affection, infatuation, the rekindling of love, a glance back in time, a bubble that will never burst, a tapestry of personalities, a mosaic of humanity… etc – Why they didn’t just shoot the whole film like that, I don’t know – or better yet, get the kid to direct the whole movie, because once that short film was finished, it was back to the boringness.

I will admit, my attention was briefly occupied early on by the delightful Elizabeth Olsen (yes, the little-known younger sister to the Olsen twins) – she is prettier than her sisters, and the best part is, she’s not stick thin. But, inevitably the boring dialogue returns, failing to make any of the characters interesting. Speaking of characters: Jane Fonda pretty much plays herself – or so it seems, Jeffrey Dean Morgan shows up sometime during the film as the obligatory “love” interest to Keener – he strums the guitar and sings a couple of songs that aren’t any good… Nobody really has any chemistry, and nobody watching will really care either way. Oh, and Rosanna Arquette makes an unspectacular/un-crazy/slightly high, cameo.

So, emerging from the wafts of marijuana is something bland, flat and blah… the ‘misunderstanding’ tends to drown out the peace and love, or whatever. It’s not that the film is bad, it’s just boring… which then, um, I suppose, means it is also bad, sort of.

Two stars


About Steven Benjamin:

A Capetonian – the only son, amongst four siblings, of a demure working mother and a missionary (once upon a time) for a father. Humble and God fearing, I’m a writer looking to add a different perspective whilst also telling stories on the side. I’ve lugubriously turned to writing after failing in a mental attempt to become a Formula 1 driver. I’m currently also working on my spicy debut novel, The Quiet Days!

Steven’s personal blog