For her directorial debut, An American Rhapsody, veteran film editor Éva Gárdos draws on her own difficult experience as a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from communist Hungary. While it's easy to admire that instinct, it's harder to admire the results. An American Rhapsody has intergenerational strife and a daring trek across a barbed-wire border, but the presentation mostly limits the film to personal arenas, which at times makes Rhapsody feel like a filmed diary entry. Young Suzanne (played as a child by Kelly Endresz-Banlaki) is left behind the Iron Curtain when her parents (Nastassja Kinski and Tony Goldwyn) and older sister flee the country, and their plan to retrieve her falls through. Placed in the care of a childless farming couple, she spends a happy childhood in the country, until Kinski and Goldwyn find a way to bring her to America, where she grows into a petulant teen played by Scarlett Johansson. Unhappy with Kinski's restrictive parenting, Johansson decides to return to Budapest, her journey allowing her to reflect on her family, her history, and her two countries. Gárdos seems incapable of externalizing her internal journey, or making it appear especially significant. When Kinski places bars on her daughter's bedroom windows, the director invites questionable comparisons between parental and political repression, and Rhapsody's commentary seldom grows more sophisticated. Unwilling to stick to a curfew, Johansson trades in the ennui of the American suburbs for the economic and political strife of '60s Hungary, but even in this setting, the all-too-generously paced, mostly uneventful film never gets beyond her teen angst, which stands in for genuine political commentary. It's a bit like getting a report on the Cold War from Gidget's sullen younger sister.