OK, here’s the theme: mothers and wives give up a lot to make their families happy and sometimes lose themselves. Nothing wrong on the surface, right? We can all probably agree it’s pretty universal. But then Where’d You Go, Bernadette had to go and make things all first world problems and white privilege and very unrelatable.
Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) is a MacArthur Genius Grant-winning architect who has settled with her husband and daughter in Seattle. The husband (Billy Crudup), by the way, is a Microsoft millionaire. Her daughter Bee (Emma Nelson) is attending a fancy private school but really wants to go away to boarding school. Bee also really wants the family to go on a vacation to Antarctica.
Oh, and Bernadette is a bit of an agoraphobic with a touch of misanthropy. Her husband is emotionally distant. She doesn’t get along with the other parents at her daughter’s school and her neighbors. Her genius is being wasted on renovating the old church in which her family now lives. Bernadette ends up taking herself on quite a little adventure to get her groove back.
Totally relatable material, right moms?
Where’d You Go, Bernadette has one thing going for it: Cate Blanchett. She’s giving this role everything she’s got, and she makes you root for Bernadette despite the fact that she’s pretty unlikeable.
The movie is based on a runaway bestseller of the same name. I never read it, so I can’t speak to how true the film was to the source material. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that something was lost in adaptation. I have trouble imagining that a book that was so beloved could turn into a story that rang so flat.
Despite the story being a little less than compelling and the overall unrelatability of the characters, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is ok. Not great, but not horrible. Cate kind of saves it. I wouldn’t spend money on a movie ticket, but if you happen to catch it on cable? It’s a decent way to kill a couple of hours.
You can catch Where’d You Go, Bernadette in theaters on August 16, 2019.
About Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Based on the runaway bestseller, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett), a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.