: : : Manny & Lo

Story

It is a sunny morning, 11-year old Amanda and her 16-year old sister Laurel (or Manny and Lo as they are called) are lying in the grass. But then it starts raining. How comes? They are on a private lawn and the sprinkler has just started. When they stopped there the night before, Lo thought it was a park.
Manny and Lo are two girls on the go. When their mother had died, Lo hid the car and later ran away from her foster home and socalled kidnapped Manny from hers. But Manny likes to be with Lo any day because she's good people. To avoid being found they are always moving. To survive they shoplift for junkfood at conveniences stores and sleep wherever they can. Once they even break into a model home.

That's not all, though. Lo is pregnant, Manny keeps pointing it out, but Lo says she's just getting fat. However, when Manny starts sleeping with her head against Lo's stomach, the denial cannot go on. Now, it's time to bring some stability into their lives. The two decide to hide out in someone's winter cabin and let nature take its course. Then, in the cabin, they come across a home video of a birth, which horrifies Lo. On a desperate search in a maternity shop, they overhear a clerk, Elaine, dispensing what sounds like good advice to nervous expectant mothers. The sisters decide to kidnap Elaine to have her available to deliver Lo's baby, and also to help them pass the baby on to a deserving family.

Rules are set by Lo, and Elaine has to get used to that - which is why Lo isn't treating her very friendly. One of Lo's rules is for Manny: Don't talk to anyone, don't do anything stupid or weird. But once when Manny is hypnotising a lizard, she takes steps toward befriending a boy down the creek. The outside world also comes crouching in when the owner comes to the cabin for some off-season rest and relaxation. And is Elaine dangerous or not? Does she really have many friends and relations the two runaways have to be afraid of? And are the two really as sought after as Lo thinks? Considering these questions the plan might or might not fall apart.

But whether their plan is going to work isn't the issue of this film. Somehow I think it's about growing up, realising what's important and really seeing other people. It's an interesting film, it deals with this quite unfortunate life situations in a realistic way, and doesn't make it sweet or savy. Also, the interplay between the three actresses who play Manny, Lo and Elaine is superb, and a key reason why this film remains enjoyable over several viewings.

Cast

Mary Kay PlaceElaine
Scarlett JohanssonAmanda
Aleksa PalladinoLaurel
Glenn FitzgeraldJoey
Novella NelsonGeorgine
Paul GuilfoyleCountry House Owner

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