Now I've seen everything. A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the newly released DVD of Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, an oddball film from 1990 about a small town enthralled with the idea that their favorite daughter, who left the town and went on to become a movie star, was gracing them with a return visit. Now comes Our Very Own, a straight-to-DVD release that's a near ripoff of Roxy, only more crazy. This time it's not a fictional movie star that the entire town is obsessed with, but a real one. Actually, I take that back -- it is a fictional movie star. It's Sondra Locke. Yeah, Sondra Locke, the 70s-era Clint Eastwood companion who appeared in several of his films -- remember the revenge-seeking rape victim from Sudden Impact? -- and whose acting career coincidentally ended at around the same time they broke up. Our Very Own, in a stunning retcon of reality, has its cast of Tennessee townies walk around in a near hypnotic state over the potential arrival of Locke, who we're repeatedly told is a major star.
If the movie were set in 2007 instead of 1978, Melora, the main character, would be the kind of kid who starts a fan site to celebrate her favorite actor. Played by Autumn Reeser, who looks like a young Julie Warner and gives away her non-Southern roots from the start by badly affecting a Reese Witherspoon-style white-trash Tennessee twang, Melora sports a The Heart is a Lonely Hunter poster on her bedroom wall and forestalls sex with her boyfriend so that she can confess her fondest hopes and dreams, which all involve Sondra Locke. "I want to meet her so bad," she says. "I dream about being just like her. [Wow] I don't know what I'll do if I don't get to see her and get to know her. I think she'll really like me!" Her boyfriend makes the mistake of indulging her in this line of thinking, which only brings out more of her fantasizing. "I wonder how she did it ... figured out how to be somebody," Melora muses. "She knew something ... something we don't know yet." Again, wow.