Grace Under Pressure

If there's a problem here, it's that Khouri's story meanders about fifteen minutes longer than it should, with a clumsy conclusion that validates the token independence for which Grace strives. For their part, Hallstrom and Nykvist belie their ignorance of the American South in portraying Grace and her eccentric family with somber autumnal tones.

Let's hope Julia Roberts receives the box-office approval she deserves for taking on such material. It's difficult to imagine that any other major female star could energize Something to Talk About the way she does, with such effortless, enthusiastic grace and salty determination.

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