Saturday, February 14, 2009

On The Road With Wendy And Lucy

Life takes many twists and turns, none worse than being all alone, on the road with little money, no job, no friends or family, and little prospects for anything better coming. Such is the story in "Wendy And Lucy". Life on your own can be difficult as it is when your only companion is a pet and you lose that connection, you will do anything and search as long as it takes to find that pet again, this is a sad look at one such search and the reality that maybe the pet is better off not out on the streets.

Hoping to find a job in a fishing cannery in Alaska, Wendy (Michelle Williams), travels to the Pacific Northwest from her home in Muncie, Indiana with her most endearing companion, a golden Labrador Retriever named Lucy. The film is set near the Oregon/Washington border in a small town that, with its roadside strip malls, gas stations, car repair garages, and convenience stores, is reflective of rural American cities and towns that have lost the character that once made them unique. As the film opens, Wendy is playing with Lucy in the Oregon woods, the only sounds heard are Wendy humming. While sleeping in her 1988 Honda on Walgreen's property, she is awakened by a security guard (Wally Dalton) who tells her to move on, but Wendy discovers that her car will not start. Wendy and the guard push the car from the lot onto the street where Wendy is able to park it. On a limited budget, she is shaken when the repair amount confirmed by the town mechanic (Will Patton) is greater than expectations.

Wendy leaves Lucy tied to a bike rack outside a small market while she goes inside. Trying to save some money, Wendy makes a serious mistake by stealing dog food at the store. Unable to convince a smug teenage clerk, Andy (John Robinson) to give her a break, she is taken to jail on a shoplifting charge. When released after paying a fine that costs considerably more than the dog food, she discovers that Lucy has disappeared and the film's focus turns to Wendy's frantic and lonely search for her beloved dog. As she pays a visit to the local pound, Wendy finds many dogs that have been abandoned or left to fend for themselves.

Wendy looks for Lucy all over town, putting up pictures of her and leaving the cell phone number of the guard who has befriended her. Yet the waiting drains her energy and her run-in with a deranged homeless man (Larry Fessenden) while sleeping in the woods waiting for her car to be fixed, frightens her to the core. Seeking some solace, she calls her sister back in Indiana, but meets only indifference, Wendy gets more sympathy from her sisters boyfriend. The sister talks in the background asking what it is that she wants now. Wendy tries to deal with the loss of Lucy while trying to get through each day, her car is her means of travel and Wendy is completely lost without it. Wendy feels lost already because her only companion is Lucy and she feels that she won't get her back. As each hour passes, Wendy slowly comes to understand that Lucy may be lost to her for good, one morning while Wendy is waiting for the body shop to open, the guard drives up to inform her that the pound had called the night before, it seems that they believe they have found Lucy, getting her hopes up Wendy calls and finds out that indeed the dog that was adopted is in fact Lucy, she is now more determined to go and get her dog.

Wendy goes to where her car is and finds out that what she originally thought was just the car needing a new serpentine belt is now something much more expensive, the car has cracked gasket heads and will cost two thousand dollars to fix. Wendy is devastated to find out that she won't be able to get her car out of the shop, her only solace is that she will have Lucy back, when she goes to the home of the people that adopted Lucy, she finds her in the huge back yard, Wendy is as happy as she has ever been, but slowly it dawns on her that there is no way that Lucy will be able to travel with her anymore, life without the car will be hard enough for Wendy, but near impossible for Lucy, Wendy makes the hardest decision she has ever had to make, she turns and walks away leaving Lucy in the yard. At the end of the movie Wendy is leaving town by herself, she is still determined to make it to Alaska. This movie is haunting, and will stay with you for along time.

I give Wendy And Lucy a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 1. ONLY because this movie won't be in theatres long enough to enjoy it there, but this movie should be watched whenever you can get hold of it.

Wendy And Lucy is rated R for Language
Running time is 1 hr. 20 mins.

No comments: