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My One and Only: Worth singling out?

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MY ONE AND ONLY Actor George Hamilton, known more for his perpetual tan and his playboy image than for his film canon, lands executive producer credit on My One and Only, and that's because this time, it's personal. In short, the picture is loosely based on Hamilton's life just as he was on the verge of making it in Hollywood, but that the movie never provides us with a believable bridge between "then" and "now" is just one of the problems that plague it. Unfolding in 1953, the film finds the teenage George (Logan Lerman) and his slightly older brother Robbie (Mark Rendall) being yanked out of their New York home by their Southern belle mom Ann (Renee Zellweger), who's tired of the philandering ways of her bandleader husband Dan (Kevin Bacon). Ann sets off on a cross-country jaunt to find a (wealthy) Mr. Right to marry her, but for the most part, she only meets losers: a former beau (Steven Weber) now facing financial ruin; a humorless military man (Chris Noth) who will brook no opposition; a paint-store magnate (an amusingly cast David Koechner) with hidden issues; and so on. Zellweger, in the sort of role Melanie Griffith would have been hand-delivered about a decade ago, isn't bad, but she's overshadowed by practically everyone else in the cast, starting with the two actors cast as her witty, wisecracking sons. Scripter Charlie Peters falters when it comes to the big picture – the film is too episodic to build much steam, and the ending doesn't provide the intended uplift – but he scores with the heated confrontations that pop up throughout the film. Whether it's Ann arguing with George, with Dan, or with just about anyone else who crosses her path, these head-to-heads are juicy enough to repeatedly lift the piece out of its dusty designation as just one more coming of age yarn. **1/2

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