`My Life' marred by not knowing who's talking now

September 11, 1999|By Chris Hewitt | Chris Hewitt,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

At last, a movie the curling community can embrace.

That bowling-like activity is featured in a key scene in "My Life So Far," the tale of a kid growing up in Scotland in the 1930s.

The kid, whose name is Fraser, narrates the story and, right away, that's a problem. "My Life So Far" requires Fraser to show us things he couldn't have seen (like his father having a would-be affair) and, although the narrative tone suggests a grown man looking back on his life, the narrator's voice is clearly that of a child.

Splitting hairs? It sounds like it, but "My Life So Far" is entirely about what Fraser knew and when he knew it. It's meant to be one of those the-summer-I-became-a-man stories, because many of Fraser's illusions are shattered during the course of the movie.

But we're confused about that stuff because We never know if it's the child or the adult talking.

"My Life So Far" boasts the beauty of Scotland, a rambunctiously emotional funeral scene, and Rosemary Harris as Fraser's grandmother, an indulgent old gal who pretends to be a crab. But much of it feels too forced or too similar to other movies to make it recommendable.

`My Life So Far'

Starring Colin Firth, Rosemary Harris

Directed by Hugh Hudson

Rated PG-13 (language, naked kids)

Running time 93 minutes

Sun score **

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