Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front (2006)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Molly McIntire
as Emily Bennett
as Helen McIntire
as Dr. James McIntire
as Jill McIntire
as Ricky McIntire
as Gladys Gilford
as Miss Campbell
as Linda Rinaldi
as Susan Shapiro
as Alison Hargate
as Miss LaVonda
as Aunt Eleanor
Critic Reviews for Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
Audience Reviews for Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
Cheaper Than the Dolls, Anyway Americans are, of course, notorious for their lack of knowledge of their own history, much less anyone else's. And so there is something to be said for the American Girls line of dolls, at least, inasmuch as they are helping to teach girls history. Or at least those girls whose parents can afford the dolls. And the vast amounts of accessories. At any rate, it isn't every doll series which offers to teach about the 1853 New Orleans yellow fever epidemic, so that's something. I also approve of the existence of the books, because they're a lot cheaper than the dolls but encourage girls to read--and teaches them that history can be a real story and really interesting. Indeed, the special features of this disc are mostly featurettes of women who lived through relevant events during World War II talking to girls of the dolls' demographic. Including a group of WASPs, the Air Force kind, which most people don't realize existed. Molly McIntire (Maya Ritter) is an average third-grade girl in 1943. She lives in a small town in Illinois with her parents (David Aaron Baker and Molly Ringwald), brother (Andrew Chalmers), and sister (Genevieve Farrell). At the beginning of the story, all she cares about is the prospect of winning the class competition and becoming Miss Victory, the best tap-dancer of the group. But rationing means she can't have the tea party she wants for her birthday. Her father enlists to be a doctor for the Army. Her mother goes to work at a defense plant. And Emily Bennett (Tory Green), an evacuee from London, comes to live with them. Over the course of the movie, the war slowly comes home for Molly. Her favourite teacher, Miss Campbell (Sarah Manninen), is engaged to a soldier. Their neighbour, Mrs. Gilford (Sarah Orenstein), has a son off fighting. Molly's Aunt Eleanor (Amy Stewart) can't live with them, because she's off to be a pilot in the WASPs. One thing the movie teaches is that Americans in 1943 were a lot more involved in the war their military was off fighting. Even if the audience doesn't necessarily know what a Victory Garden is, the sign is prominent enough to catch the attention and might interest a girl in looking it up. Banners with stars on them are, however, explained, and it's made clear that they're common. There is, as mentioned, rationing. Molly and her friends (Hannah Fleming and Samantha Somer Wilson) go to the movies more than modern kids probably do, and when they go, they see newsreels about the war--and those were considerably more graphic than anything you'd happen to catch on the news today. (Newsreels weren't under the control of the Hays Office, which made the limiting of what you could show in the movies themselves a little laughable.) Probably if you asked any of Molly's classmates where Tripoli, mentioned in passing, is, they'd know. And if they didn't, their parents assuredly did. At the same time, this movie is nostalgic for those days in a curious sort of way. Yes, the movie eventually shows Molly, et al., running War Bond drives, rolling bandages, and other actually helpful things. But there is, at the same time, the whole Miss Victory thing. One of the featurettes is titled "Uncle Sam Wants You . . . to Tap Dance" and talks about the importance of the USO. But Molly wasn't in the USO and wasn't going to be; this was merely a small-town contest which would be lucky to catch anyone's notice twenty-five miles away. On the other hand, there's something symbolic about it, especially after Molly's father goes away. It is not, as it might be in a different era, just about beating the show-off. Though there's an aspect of that to it as well, and rightly so. One gets the impression that Molly's life is mostly idyllic, except for the heart-stopping moments when the young man with the telegrams rings the doorbell. Forever after, she must have seen the making of casseroles as an ominous activity. This is the second American Girls movie I've seen, following the theatrically-released [i]Kit Kettredge[/i]. The cast is less impressive on this one, with the only real Name's being Molly Ringwald. (And, yes, she has kids.) However, the acting isn't noticeably worse for all that. There was one moment which made me laugh when it wasn't supposed to--they had the British kid dance with an American flag at the end--but all in all, it's not a bad little film. It's really much more a series of vignettes than the other, but there's nothing wrong with that. Molly's biggest interest is dancing Miss Victory and having her dad come home safe, and it's not hard to relate to either. If nothing else, as I said, this movie serves to bring the realities of World War II home to a generation of girls who may not know anyone who lived through it. My own mother is a senior citizen now, and she was born the year after this movie was set.
Tory Green r0xx0rz my s0xx0rz and she's gonna be hot someday. Molly Ringwald is not a mom. Maya Ritter, despite her ratty-ass grin, has a surprisingly deep voice which I enjoyed. Nice '40s atmosphere.
Maybe I'm just a cry baby lately but I've cried two days in a row over Molly and Felicity. Or maybe the American Girl movies are just pretty stinking amazing! Now I have to see Kit and Samantha.
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