The film commences in the doldrums and never climbs out of its murky morass; Errol Flynn’s (1909-1950) last salacious affair with fifteen-year-old nymphet, Beverly Aadland, “Woodsey”(1942-2010) monopolized the tabloids when he supposedly died in her arms.
Kevin Kline bears a strong resemblance to the iconic raconteur and depicts Flynn’s insouciant charm, dashing flamboyance with aplomb and savoir faire. Unfortunately, Kline at sixty-six (still a model of physical grace) was too old to play the 48-50 -year-old fading film idol. Dakota Fanning as Beverly is benign, jejune; possibly fifteen is too young to have attained sufficient depth; their relationship is bereft of effervescence; plastic and dimensionless.
Susan Sarandon as the shrill “tiger Mom”, Florence Aadland, (actually born the same year as Flynn) brings her expected deftness to the role; sadly Flo’s histrionics, alcoholism become tiresome, overbearing and boring. The film is based on the book “The Big Love” Florence’s tale (with Tedd Thomey) of her daughter’s illicit relationship with Flynn; a book she promised Beverly she would not write; paltry, pathetic quest to cement their “fifteen minutes of fame.”
Skip this soporific attempt to titillate; revisit the 1937 “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and recall the playboy that never “let his public down”!
ONE & 1/2 STARS!