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The Grass Harp review

Charlie Matthau's (Walter's wannabe director son) over-sentimental adaptation of Truman Capote's autobiographical novella is all promise and no payback. This is despite the best efforts of a star-studded cast that includes the crinkly likes of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and the fresh-faced likes of Edward Furlong (Terminator 2) and Sean Patrick Flanery (Young Indiana Jones). The story: in a small, southern town in '40s America, young Colin Fenwick (Furlong) goes to live with his ultra-eccentric, middle-aged female cousins (Spacek and Laurie) after the death of his parents. The rest of the film amounts to little more than an exploration of the maxim "love is a chain of love... asnature is a chain of life", a deeply meaningful idea which involves long, thoughtful stints in treehouses and tons of homespun philosophising. Not to mention walk-ons for a galaxy of oddball locals, eager to dish out some worldly advice - Walter Matthau as a retired judge, Roddy McDowall as a camp barber, and Jack Lemmon as a old Chicago con artist. In short, it's another of those soporific tales about quirky American childhood, where nothing of any relevance happens. Ho, and as they often say, hum.

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