One True Thing

"Love What You Have."

One True Thing is a dramatic film about a young woman who is forced to move back home to help her mother who is dying of cancer. Renee Zellweger plays Ellen, a bright young woman working her way up the corporate ladder in New York City. Her father, George, is a world famous novelist, and Ellen is eager to follow in his footsteps. George asks Ellen to come home and help take care of her mother, who is suffering from terminal cancer. Ellen’s mother is played by Meryl Streep.

Ellen is not happy to come home because she has never been close to her mother. She agrees to help to please her father, and she finds herself growing closer to her mother. She also discovers that her father has had many affairs over the course of his marriage, and Ellen is devastated and angry. Ellen eventually realizes that her mother knew about the affairs and worked on forgiving George.

While Ellen is at her parents’ house, she is trying desperately to hold on to her life in New York. Her job and her boyfriend are pressuring her to return, but she is unable to. Ellen’s mother passes away after she and Ellen have had time to reconnect.

The medical examiner’s office reveals that Ellen’s mom has died of a morphine overdose. Ellen is suspected of assisting her suicide, and she is investigated. She is eventually cleared, though. Ellen and George talk, with each of them assuming that the other one has helped the suicide. They then figure out that Ellen’s mother took the overdose herself to spare them any further pain. George then tells Ellen that her mother was his muse and inspiration for all his novels. Ellen in return teaches him how to plant flowers on her grave. She then returns to the city to a new journalism job, and she and her father grow closer.

R
| 1998 | 2 hr 8 min | 7.0/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Carl Franklin
Language
English
One True Thing

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