The Long Way Home
Tom Gerrin (Jack Lemmon), a retired cabinetmaker, moves in with his son, Ken, and daughter-in-law, Bonnie, after the death of his wife. Ken and Bonnie mean well, but smother Tom with their self-conscious attempts at kindness. His presence in their home is also destroying the intimacy in their marriage. Tom, bored and lonely, is simply waiting to die. When a traveling circus comes to the town of Beaumont, Kansas, Tom meets Marco, a young ringmaster, and briefly feels hope. More significantly, Tom meets a 21-year-old free spirit named Leanne Bossert (Sarah Paulson) and the unlikely pair hitchhike from Kansas to California.
It’s a rocky road to begin with, Tom is a curmudgeonly old carpenter and Leanne is the offbeat, irreverent child of a wealthy but troubled family. In learning to respect each other’s differences, they become the best of mismatched friends. It is their unique friendship that gives each the courage to embrace new beginnings and face the sad finales that greet them at their journey’s end. While in Monterey, California, Tom looks up an old pre-marriage sweetheart, Veronica (Betty Garrett). Happily and unexpectedly, the two enjoy a 55-year-later reunion—a sweet moment in both their lives. Although Tom eventually decides to return to Beaumont, Kansas, he refuses to return to his previous waiting-to-die existence. Thanks to two very special women Tom’s attitude toward life is very much changed. Leanne’s zest for life and Veronica’s romantic outlook have shown Tom how it feels to live and love again. Upon his return, Tom feels rejuvenated and ready to begin his new life.
In the Film “The Long Way Home” the two most unlikely characters come together to form a friendship that no one expected. The two learn to lean on each other and help us understand the importance of friendship and communication. Families are brought closer together and gaps are sealed as a father and son learn to talk about their differences. This is a heartwarming film that has some great lessons. Due to the mature subject matter of two adults discussing sex and some mild language, we award it the Dove Seal for ages twelve plus. The film is to be commended for its theme of communication.