Another problem with the film, aside from its clichés and Christian bashing (itself a cliché nowadays), is the acting, along with the thinly-drawn characters.  Grint’s stoicism, throughout the film, is positively painful to watch.  Linney does a pretty good job with her English accent, but overacts somewhat.  Walters really overdoes it, however, turning her character into an annoying, manipulative old lady who is very difficult to identify with.  The actor who actually does the best job is Farrell, who portrays a downtrodden, passive man who finds himself with convincing ease.  Farrell managed to elicit a good laugh from me (the only one of the film) with his wacky bird imitations.

Even though this movie claims to be about coming of age, because of the language, Evie’s drinking (and drunkenness) and the scene with Ben’s seduction, it’s really only appropriate for adults.  Those who can bear it, that is.  Nice scenery, though.

AUDIENCE:  Adults only

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Featurette: “The Making of Driving Lessons”
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Previews

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Characters drink throughout film; one character appears to be an alcoholic; an adult encourages a minor to drink in several scenes.
  • Language/Profanity: At least two dozen profanities and obscenities, some strong.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: A few sexual references; woman seduces minor boy, inviting him to her apartment and taking him to bed (no nudity); woman has affair and leaves husband; man dresses in women’s clothing and makeup.
  • Violence: A few mild arguments with shouting; a brief car accident in which a character is struck and injured (but not killed).