Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

Single mom Mary Jo (Janet McTeer) and her 12-year-old daughter, Ava (Kimberly J Brown), drift like tumbleweeds, from place to place and, for Mary Jo, from boyfriend to boyfriend. Ava knows her mothers current relationship will be short-lived and they will make a hasty departure. The film opens in the middle of an ugly lovers quarrel. Soon, mother and daughter find themselves on the road again, this time driving to San Diego. They act like giddy teenagers, singing and clowning their way across the country. Once there, Mary Jo lands an office job and soon moves in with Jack (Gavin OConnor, who also directs), her new boy friend, while Ava makes friends at another new school. When her moms romance sours once more, pre-teen Ava rebels, refusing to move again. Based on the memoirs of Angela Shelton, who co-wrote the screenplay with OConnor, the film has some hilarious moments along with some very touching ones. Early reviews predict Oscar nominations for McTeers performance as the free-spirited single mom. If so, it may attract a wider audience, but mostly teenage girls and mothers will relate to TUMBLEWEEDS.

Although flighty and emotionally unstable, Mary Lou deeply loves her daughter. And Ava clearly adores her fun-loving mother. But Mary Lous four marriages, numerous boyfriends and a tendency to run away from problems have made Ava determined not to follow in her footsteps. When Ava is invited on her first date, Mary Lou gives her a lesson in kissing by using an apple to illustrate, encouraging her daughter to warm things up a bit. Later, the two celebrate Avas first menstrual cycle by throwing feminine hygiene products at each other, a scene that will probably make audiences uncomfortable. While there are no sex scenes, Mary Lous promiscuous lifestyle includes suggestive flirtations with strangers and a bedroom scene where sex is implied. Vulgar language abounds, however, with young Ava spouting off several s-words. Especially offensive are 20 regular profanities shocking for a PG-13 movie. A mom with an immoral lifestyle and a 12-year-olds dirty mouth treated comically deserve an R rating, at least in Previews mind.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Flr., NY, NY 10106

Crude Language: Many (12) times Mild 4, Moderate 8
Obscene Language: Many (15) times - S-words 8, no f-words, obscene gesture 2, other 5)
Profanity: Many (20) times Regular (GD 13, J 3, C 2, JC 1, swear to G 1)
Violence: Once Moderate (couple fight)
Sexual Intercourse: None but implied once (unmarried couple in bed)
Nudity: None; Near Nudity - Many times (woman wears tight, low-cut dresses)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (single mom teaches 12-year-old how to kiss, woman flirts with stranger, crude references to sex)
Drug Abuse: Several times (drinking in bars, beer drinking)
Other: Girl disapproves of mothers immoral lifestyle; strong mother-daughter bond; feminine hygiene items played with
Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenaged girls and mothers

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