Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at: RottenTomatoes.com

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

Kit Kittredge

“Kit” cast can’t rescue bland production

Talk about counter programming! “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” is virtually the artistic opposite of most of this year’s summer’s films. Featuring a young girl (Abigail Breslin) living in Cincinnati in the 30’s, this old fashioned film features no superheroes or bombastic special effects and isn’t designed for hyperactive teenage boys. But what could have been an oasis of quiet, thought provoking nostalgia turns out to be an utter bore. Yes, it’s family friendly but it’s also entertainment exterminating. Have a restless child that can’t sleep? “Kit’s” colossal monotony could cure the worst insomnia.

Breslin, of course, is believably charming as the film’s title character which is based on a popular doll and book series. She’s surrounded by an excellent cast comprised of proven veterans like Stanley Tucci, Joan Cusack, and Jane Krakowski and actors in apparent comeback mode Julia Ormand and Chris O’Donnell–none of whom are interesting or seem interested in the listless script. This is really a shame because a depression era-set story about a family who takes in borders to make ends meet and a plucky girl who wants to be a columnist and write about the good side of hobos has tons of heart warming potential.

But from the overly bright designs and the obtrusively melodramatic soundtrack this film, produced no doubt with good intentions by Julia Roberts, can’t summon an ounce of the sincerity of even your average Hallmark TV production.

Given the right material, Breslin can make a good film memorable as she did earlier this year in the delightful family friendly action pic “Nim’s Island.”

Earnest ambitions alone do not make a film-hence the root “earn.” Unfortunately “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” earns only a reluctant recommendation for summer film fans to stick with comic book men in tights.

Grade: D+
Rated G

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