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King of California

January 27, 2008

Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 93 min Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

King of California was a refreshing movie to watch, a movie with a solid (if simple) story and some fine acting.

King of CaliforniaMiranda (Evan Rachel Wood) is 16 years old and has been living on her own for the past two years while her father Charlie (Michael Douglas) has been in a mental institution. During this time she’s dropped out of school and been working double shifts at McDonalds to make ends meet, and has even managed to buy a car off eBay. An industrious girl for certain.

When Charlie gets out and begins acting strangely, she realizes that his release might have been a bit premature. It seems that while in the hospital Charlie found a book that details the location of a buried treasure, one that many people have looked for but never found. What he discovers is that the book is written in code, and he’s managed to break that code. OK, so your father gets out of the loony bin talking about buried treasure… the logical conclusion is that he’s still nuts, right?

Miranda doesn’t believe him in the beginning but after they find a few clues she starts to question her beliefs, and at the very least Charlie seems happy and they are having a bit of an adventure together. The presense of the gold, be it real or not isn’t the point, the adventure itself is the point.

Michael Douglas is a delight to watch, he plays the crazy old man to perfection and made me smile, a lot. He showed a great conviction that he was on the right path and that he had every right to do some of the things he was doing, and showed that if you act like you know what you’re doing people will generally let you do it. Evan Rachel Wood showed no less talent as the daughter either, the struggle with being the “responsible” one while wanting to just be a trusting child showed through on her face in every scene.

So I have to ask myself, is this a chick flick? Yeah, it is, but it’s one of the few that I feel comfortable in recommending. The relationship stuff is there but amazingly it’s not thrown in your face, it’s just there for observation. Don’t bother trying to watch this one when the guys come over for beers, but this is a good film to watch with your SO or even alone when you want to see a good example of actors embracing a story and giving it their all.

BTW, California got its name from a 16th century Spanish romance that referred to an island plentiful in gold, filled with strange beasts and inhabited by Amazon women ruled by a Queen. It’s true, look it up.

Popularity: 32% [?]

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One Response to “King of California”

  1. Things to add to your Netflix queue : on January 28th, 2008 9:14 am

    [...] King of California – Don’t let the 3 star rating fool you, I really enjoyed this movie. Read my review for details. [...]

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