Country Strong Remarkably Weak

Gwyneth Paltrow flick is a series of clichés

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 7, 2011 12:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Critics make no bones about it: Skip Country Strong. (It's got a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences are more generous at 50%.) A familiar tale of the struggle with fame, the Gwyneth Paltrow flick is pure schlock, they say:

  • It’s “a runny-mascara melodrama” in which “the corn is as high as a mechanical bull’s eye,” writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. Paltrow’s character “is a compendium of stereotypes about women forced to choose between career and love (guess which wins), while keeping an eye on the younger competition.”

  • “The cast is sucked dry of any juice by Shana Feste, whose script is laughably inauthentic and whose direction marshals clichés as if they were freshly minted,” notes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. “The dialogue could sink Streep.”
  • Roger Ebert is more tolerant in the Chicago Sun-Times: “Country Strong is one of the best movies of 1957, and I mean that sincerely as a compliment.” It’s “a throwback, a pure, heartfelt exercise in '50s social melodrama.”

In this film publicity image released by Screen Gems, Gwyneth Paltrow is shown in a scene from "Country Strong."   (AP Photo/Sony-Screen Gems, Scott Garfield)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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