Jan Miller Corran
Jan Miller Corran
For the last couple of decades, Mary Beth has lived a traditional, normal life as a daughter, wife, and mother. It's what was expected of her and the all-around proper thing to do—conventional, routine, yet completely unfulfilling. But, over the months, she's become friends with a delivery woman named Wanda, who, as luck would have it, delivered a package that would change her life. A small teapot. As "Along Came Wanda" begins, we viewers are quickly brought up to speed on Mary Beth's life, including her almost completed divorce - and we meet Wanda, who, in an act of spontaneous living, invites Mary Beth on a road trip. A chance to get away from it all and rediscover herself. Uncharacteristically, Mary Beth agrees to tag along, and "Along Came Wanda" comes to life.
It's true. Writer, director Jan Miller Corran has put together a road trip flick for those of us who are not seventeen. The character introductions all happen relatively fast, leaving the rest of the film ripe for a wide-open adventure of discovery. That's right, reader, Corran's flick uses the road trip scenario as an excuse to delve a bit not just into the main characters but humanity itself. This is a film about self-discovery, change, and perhaps even a tad of regret. But don't for a second think that "Along Came Wanda" is an intense and massively dense film geared towards those who are already "enlightened" souls - no. Not at all. As powerful as the messages and thoughts are within this flick, it's not meant as a be-all, end-all, take a look at your life kind of movie. Instead, this is a light-hearted, often humorous adventure - a film to have fun with as you watch. Bottom line? It works and works well.
Although "Along Came Wanda" is a very well-written movie, it's not anything most viewers haven't seen before - and that's completely alright because those familiar rings give this film a comforting feeling. What really makes this flick shine, however, are the cast performances. Of course, you expect the characters, Mary Beth and Wanda, to be handled excellently because they're the leading ladies - but do you want to know what hooked me? It was the fact that the supporting roles were also beautifully brought to life. My personal favorite character was Davina Moonbeam, but truth be told, the entire cast of this film is made up of incredibly talented individuals. If the story is the soul of this film, the cast are most definitely the heartbeat. "Along Came Wanda" is brought to life in a way that I'm one hundred percent sure makes Jan Miller Corran very proud to be a filmmaker.
At the end of the day? I'm generally not a fan of this genre as I prefer action, explosions, and even a tad of gore now and again - but I had no problem losing myself for a while in this film. I hit play, and the next thing I knew, it was over - I was hooked! And doesn't that pretty much say more than I could ever convey using a keyboard? I do find myself wondering if I would have given a higher rating if this film was more in my wheelhouse - but I hardly think that matters. "Along Came Wanda" is a comedic, lighter film with a more profound message for those who are looking for one. Well done and four out of five stars.