January 5, 2009 - A morbid mission turns into a life-changing road trip for three middle-aged women from Idaho. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen star in this film produced by Luzerne County native Robert May.

Lange plays Arvilla, a recent widow who has just brought her world-travelling husband's ashes back from Borneo, where he died. Bates is Margene, Arvilla's best friend. Margene foregoes a dream cruise to stay in Idaho and support her friend. Allen plays the straight-laced Carol, a Mormon wife and mother who also wants to be there for Arvilla.

Arvilla's problem, other than having a dead husband, is that when her husband was alive, it seems he never got around to making a new will. Arvilla is wife number two, and the grown-up daughter (Christine Baranski) from wife number one wants daddy's ashes buried in the family plot in Santa Barbara, CA. If not, she'll sell Arvilla's home out from under her. Arvilla reluctantly agrees to deliver the ashes, and Margene and Carol agree to fly there with her.

They set off for the airport in the dead husband's beloved Bonneville, but they never get to the airport. Instead, one detour leads to another and, before they know it, the three are on a road trip, scattering ashes along the way.

Overall review: ** With three accomplished actresses in the lead roles, you'd expect some sort of "WOW" factor from this film. But, it's not there. The performances are OK, I just don't think they had very good material to work with. Their characters lacked back stories and never fully developed. I also think that Christine Baranski is miscast as the resentful stepdaughter. You just expect her to burst out laughing any minute but she never does.