Dying to hear George Hamilton’s origin story? No? Well, too bad, because the mediocre, nostalgic-soaked comedy-drama My One And Only, loosely inspired by Hamilton’s childhood, has been produced with a few big stars attached. Chief among them is Renée Zellweger, who sinks her teeth into the role of a sweet, gold-digging Southern belle who leaves her cheating bandleader husband (Kevin Bacon) and drags her sons along on a cross-country search for a new man. Young narrator Logan Lerman plays the more grounded of the sons (the one who will grow up to be a bronzed Adonis of an actor), and Mark Rendall plays Lerman’s stepbrother, a flamboyant theater geek who gets parts in every school play, but leaves town too quickly to play them. As the trio hopscotches from New York to St. Louis to Hollywood, Zellweger lands a number of prospective wealthy husbands, including a hotheaded military man (Chris Noth) who insists on wearing his uniform at all times, an old friend (Eric McCormack) more than a decade her junior, and a paint-store magnate (David Koechner) with mental problems.
Dialing down the brassiness that won her an Oscar for Cold Mountain, Zellweger does exceptional work as a woman from a bygone era who refuses to recognize that times have changed and money can’t be thrown around anymore. My One And Only hits her with many humbling moments, but her obliviousness remains a mighty force, and gives her an odd integrity that the film exploits for laughs and pathos. Trouble is, the characters around her are mostly stock, starting with the sons and continuing with a parade of suitors that leave little impression, save for Koechner, whose birds-and-the-bees talk with Lerman is hilariously twisted. Director Richard Loncraine (Richard III, Firewall) applies a period gloss to the proceedings, but adds little momentum; the film never gets on Zellweger’s batty wavelength. When it suddenly becomes the story of how young George became an actor, My One And Only leaves its brightest star in the lurch.