It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I have no idea how closely "My One and Only" follows the facts of actor George Hamilton's teenage years, but it tells a story that goes a good way toward explaining his years of celebrity and his lifelong attachment to his mother. It's also an appealing comedy, a road movie set in the 1950s and starring Renee Zellweger as his mom, the irrepressible Ann Devereaux.
She's a blond Southern belle, married to Dan, a bandleader (Kevin Bacon) who loves her, after his fashion, but is a compulsive womanizer. After finding him in bed with one woman too many, Ann leaves him and takes her two sons: George (Logan Lerman) and Robbie (Mark Rendall), half-brothers from her two marriages. In a sky-blue Cadillac convertible, they set off an odyssey to find Ann a new husband. That's the only way she can imagine to support them.
Ann is 40-ish, comely, attractive to men, but no longer this year's model. Their journeys take them to a series of her old beaus, in Boston, Pittsburgh and St. Louis; these hunting expeditions are seen through George's dubious eyes. One is an ex-military sadist, one a playboy, all not suitable candidates. She tries actually working, but being a waitress is beyond her, and then she apparently strikes pay dirt with a proposal from a man whose family owns a big house-paint business.
The paint tycoon is entertaining. As played by the invaluable David Koechner, he sits beside George on a pier and confides that Ann has asked him to have a man-to-man talk with him about women. He explains to the boy that women have a problem with body temperature. They're always too warm or too cool. On a date, always bring along a sweater you can lend them. End of advice. I can't say why, but I suspect George Hamilton really was told this at one time or another in his youth.