Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Somewhere in the Northeastern U.S., Alma (Olympia Dukakis) is a 60-year-old recent widow who has never been on her own since her early marriage to a domineering husband. Her son tries to immure her in a dowdy apartment in the basement of his house and showers her with perfunctory and thoughtless shows of public affection while preventing her from having any sort of life of her own. Her other child is a socially ambitious woman married to an ambitious Australian politician. Offended by the patronizing and heavy-handed attentions of her son, Alma flies off to see her daughter in Australia but swiftly discovers that she is not wanted there. In fact, she overhears her daughter and son-in-law talking about how to get her to leave. Rather than stay where she is unwelcome, she buys a vintage-model Chevy and charges off into the countryside, contemplating suicide -- or at the very least, kicking over the traces. She runs into Dutch (Derek Fowlds), a cantankerous but generous man about the same age as she is, and the two of them begin an impromptu tour of the glories of Australia. For the first time in her life, she has a romance between equals, and it takes her some time to adjust to it. While her daughter is worried that her neglect of her mother will reflect badly on her in public life and is anxious to track her down, Alma is having the time of her life and is discovering that she's a pretty spunky, capable woman in the bargain. This quiet little gem of a movie sparked little interest at the box-office but has done well in televised showings, and is available on tape.
daughter, mother, politician, road-trip, romance, son, widow/widower