Directed by: Jan Miller Corran
Written by: Jan Miller Corran
Genre: Drama Comedy
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Along Came Wanda
Jan Miller Corran's aptly named title deserves a lot more credit than it will probably ever receive. Diving right in with divorce proceedings, I was at first thinking I would be getting a straight from the heart dramatic piece with some elements of comedy, and as it turns out, I was half right. There are more than just a "few" funny elements, but this soul-searching drama didn't disappoint. The other highlight is the two ladies upfront and center who feel born to have the camera on them. If you happen to be going through a tough time with yourself, this title should for sure be on your watchlist.
I could go through a rundown of the film, but I think it's better to watch and enjoy it yourself, so instead, I'll focus on the feelings I felt the film tried to convey and what this film did for me personally. Along Came Wanda is, without a doubt, a title about finding your true self and not the "self" the rest of the world wants you to be. Normally, I would say that the "mechanic" that gets the movie started is a little unrealistic. A middle-aged woman abruptly leaving on a road adventure with someone they barely knew? But I know that that would be a lie. I know plenty of people who have done just that with their own versions of "Wanda" and have had a blast. So it does happen, and maybe it's safe to say that although most people consider spontaneity a younger person's trait, the mental benefits of middle age people being spontaneous is a proven fact. Along Came Wanda plays with this idea excellently. For Mary Beth Higgins ( Constance Brenneman ) the impromptu trip with Wanda ( Cathy DeBuono ) was just what the doctor ordered. Even if the family didn't approve or understand.
I had my favorite parts and especially enjoyed the camping on a "certain" property scenes in their entirety, but there was always an underlying tone to this film that was not as playful but just as important. Self-discovery and, on the other end of things, self-doubt. Wanda's bubbly character is a great example of "putting on a show" for the world, and this aspect of the film makes her character a little more real and believable. Less the caricature that you may think she is at first and although this title does deal with sexual themes, it's not too much to handle even for the most conservative of audience members.
Should this title be on your watchlist? Sure it should. I never expect a lot from a micro-budget film, but I got a lot more than I bargained for with this one, in a good way. Jan Miller Corran has written and put to screen an excellent indie adventure with just the right amount of genre points thrown into the soup. Thumbs up.