Abrupt abandonment by her husband has transformed the nicest, sweetest woman one will ever meet (although there's no evidence in the film to support this claim) into an angry, bitter, sad drunk. Left to raise her four nearly grown daughters on her own, suburban housewife Terry Wolfmeyer (Allen) starts to pal around with her next-door neighbor Denny (Costner), a baseball has-been who ekes out a living by signing baseball memorabilia and hosting a radio talk show in which he talks about everything but baseball. Complicating matters is that their romantic entanglement is not the only one in the household.
Although experienced behind the camera--his oeuvre includes HBO's "The Mind of the Married Man"--Binder makes the rookie mistake of lingering too long on meaningful nods or forced laughter after particularly poignant moments. And composer Alexandre Desplat's attempt to give the tragedy a comic edge with incongruent circus-like music doesn't quite work. Finally, the film culminates with a reveal as to the patriarch's whereabouts that, even if you want to buy into it given the overall potential of the project, is simply too problematic. Starring Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt. Directed and written by Mike Binder. Produced by Alex Gartner, Jack Binder and Sammy Lee. A New Line release. Drama. Rated R for language, sexual situations, brief comic violence and some drug use. Running time: 116 min