Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Charlie Kate Birch (Gena Rowlands) is a peculiarly powerful Southern matriarch, an anachronism in the early 20th century. She's a self-educated woman who makes a good living as a midwife and holistic healer. One day, she saves a black man who's been lynched, and he thanks her by giving her a rabbit's foot, which supposedly "brings an easy life" to the person who carries it. Charlie's husband leaves her soon thereafter, but she had begun to think he was an idiot anyway. Charlie's only character flaw seems to be her attraction to unworthy men, and she passes that trait on to her daughter, Sophia (Mimi Rogers). Sophia's husband is an unfaithful lout, and he dies an early death, leaving Charlie, Sophia, and her daughter, Margaret (Susan May Pratt of 10 Things I Hate About You) to fend for themselves, which they do admirably. Soon, Sophia has another suitor, a divorced lawyer named Richard Baines (Geordie Johnson). Unlike her mother, Sophia has remained a romantic soul, and she loves Richard, and waits patiently for him to propose to her. Charlie, meanwhile, has an ongoing feud with the alcoholic town doctor, and tries to be a more cerebral influence on Margaret. But when, during World War II, Margaret falls in love with Tom Hawkings (Ken Mitchell), a wounded soldier, Charlie realizes that they're a perfect match. Charms for the Easy Life was adapted by screenwriter Angela Shelton (Tumbleweeds) from a novel by Kaye Gibbons. The film was directed by Joan Micklin Silver (Crossing Delancey) and premiered on Showtime on August 18, 2002.
daughter, granddaughter, matriarch, lynching, marital-problems, relationship, charm [amulet]