We have an older lesbian whose partner of 38 years died over a year ago, leaving medical bills and an empty house. Our gal found a new partner to quiet the echoing house, but the movie starts with her throwing the new partner out. Her teenage granddaughter shows up in desperate need of $600 for an abortion but our heroine has just paid off those medical bills and is strapped for cash. This movie is about their quest for money in a vintage Dodge sedan.

Writer/director Paul Weitz ("About a Boy" and "In Good Company") has crafted the ideal vehicle to remind us what a perfectly splendid actor we have in Lily Tomlin (Oscar nomination for "Nashville").

His cast:
  • Lily Tomlin ("9 to 5" and "A Prairie Home Companion") Elle has a checkered past. She is a poet and an educator, but the more we learn about her, the more surprises we find.
  • Julia Garner ("The Perks of Being a Wallflower") is perfectly cast as Sage, that wayward granddaughter. Her boyfriend failed to bring her the money and now accuses her of lying about his involvement. Problem is, she has an appointment for the procedure and the clock is ticking.
  • Marcia Gay Harden ("Elsa & Fred") Judy is mother of Sage and daughter of Elle. This is not an easy spot to be in!
  • Judy Greer ("The Descendants") Olivia is unceremoniously tossed out of Elle's house and must go on with her life. Elle will NOT accept money from her!
  • Elizabeth Peña ("Lone Star") Carla has the small store where Elle hopes to sell her first edition feminist books.
  • Sam Elliott ("I'll See You in My Dreams") Karl is a last resort. Elle is pretty sure he will help but we are not prepared for some of their surprises. The scenes with Elliott and Tomlin are particularly good!
This has some predictable discussions about abortions, of course with Tomlin involved, they will be pro-choice (but watch that little girl outside the clinic). This satisfying movie is just over an hour long but isn't rushed; it earns its R rating because of dialogue and profanity.

I smiled over Sage's confusion between "The Feminine Mystique," Betty Friedan's book and Mystique, the character in the X-Men movies.
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Here is a preview:
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