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Surrender, Dorothy

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r) Winner Diane Keaton (1977, Actress in a Leading Role, Annie Hall) delivers one of the most dynamic and astonishing performances of her career in this moving story about the bonds of friendships, the strength of a mother's love ... and the power of letting go. With the simple phone greeting "Surrender, Dorothy," Natalie (Keaton) and her daughter Sara (Alexa Davalos) share the most intimate details of their lives. But when Sara's life is tragically cut short by a car accident, Natalie's grief is compounded by a shocking discovery: she may not have known her daughter after all. Determined to unlock the secrets of her daughter's heart, Natalie travels to the ramshackle beach house where Sara spent her summers and camps out with Sara's friends, including longtime childhood pal, Adam (Tom Everett Scott). But can she capture her daughter's essence and, more importantly, find a way to heal?

Special Features

  • Commentary by director William Liddell and star Diane Keaton and
  • Commentary by director William Liddell and the cinematographer

Product Details

  • Actors: Dick Davalos, Lauren German, Josh Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Tom Everett Scott
  • Directors: Charles McDougall
  • Producers: Diana Kerew
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQ45C4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Surrender, Dorothy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2006
Format: DVD
Charles McDougall's resume includes directing episodes on 'Sex and the City', 'Desperate Housewives', Queer as Folk', 'Big Love', 'The Office', etc. so he comes with all the credentials to make the TV film version of Meg Wolitzer's novel SURRENDER, DOROTHY a success. And for the most part he manages to keep this potentially sappy story about sudden death of a loved one and than manner in which the people in her life react afloat.

Sara (Alexa Davalos) a beautiful unmarried young woman is accompanying her best friends - gay playwright Adam (Tom Everett Scott), Adam's current squeeze Shawn (Chris Pine), and married couple Maddy (Lauren German) and Peter (Josh Hopkins) with their infant son - to a house in the Hamptons for a summer vacation. The group seems jolly until a trip to the local ice creamery by Adam and Sara) results in an auto accident which kills Sara. Meanwhile Sara's mother Natalie Swedlow (Diane Keaton) who has an active social life but intrusively calls here daughter constantly with the mutual greeting 'Surrender, Dorothy', is playing it up elsewhere: when she receives the phone call that Sara is dead she immediately comes to the Hamptons where her overbearing personality and grief create friction among Sara's friends. Slowly but surely Natalie uncovers secrets about each of them, thriving on talking about Sara as though doing so would bring her to life. Natalie's thirst for truth at any cost results in major changes among the group and it is only through the binding love of the departed Sara that they all eventually come together.

Diane Keaton is at her best in these roles that walk the thread between drama and comedy and her presence holds the story together.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ciaramine on April 30, 2006
Format: DVD
A bittersweet story of a mother discovering her own strengths after the sudden death of her beloved daughter. As the mom, Diane Keaton creates a wonderful character who tries to make sense of the death of her only child by inviting herself to spend the summer with her daughter's friends at their summer rental. At first she tries to take control of her daughter's memories, refusing to believe her daughter did not always confide everything to her, and kept many secrets to herself. As the summer progresses, she realizes how much her daughter meant to her friends and slowly surrenders to their comfort.

A wonderful cast and the charm of a seaside town add charm and warmth to this lovely film.
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Format: DVD
Natalie Swedlow (Diane Keaton) and her daughter Sara (Alexa Davalos) certainly appear to have a close relationship. Mom will call and say, "Surrender, Dorothy," a reference to their yearly rituals of watching "The Wizard of Oz" when Sara was a kid. Mom will call up first thing in the morning on her cell phones and the two share a laugh as they let each other hear the sound of the man snoring in their bed. So they seem like a particularly close mother and daughter. The only thing is that it is always mom who makes the phone calls and always mom who uses the cute phrase. It would seem that only mom does not know that she is not on the same wavelength with her daughter.

Sara is spending the summer on the seashore in a place she rents with her friends. Her best gal pal is Maddy (Lauren German), who is married to Peter (Josh Hopkins), and who have a new baby. Sara's best guy pal is Adam (Tom Everett Scott), a playwright, who has a new lover, Shawn (Chris Pine). Things are going fine, except for the constant phone calls from her mom, and then there is a car accident and Sara ends up dead. Natalie is so distraught she does not let any of Sara's friends attend the funeral. In fact she is the only mourner there. But then three sleepless days and nights later Natalie shows up at the house with two bags of groceries, which is supposedly suppose to buy off her daughter's friends so that they will tell her what she wants to know about Sara's final days.

Peter argues for cutting Natalie some slack; after all, she just lost her daughter. But Adam, denied the opportunity to attend his best friend's funeral and rebuffed in his request to have a memento by which to remember Sara, wants her gone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fern Staton on May 22, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Maybe it was the scene where the mother held her daughter's shoes, as if she could somehow make her return.
Or maybe it was the scene where the mother worked frantically, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, believeing that
if she just stayed busy enough, the pain couldn't penetrate her cheerful exterior.
Or maybe it is that my own daughter's best friend is a gay man and I envy her that rare relationship that only a gay
friend can provide.
Surrender Dorothy.
I believe this was one of Diane Keaton's most powerful performances. She is a self-confident mother of a daughter who is
amazing. The two have this bond that appears to be rock solid and is in so many ways, until she find's the diary. And who do
our most quarded secrets belong to after we are gone? Do they need to be exposed?
Watch the movie and decide for yourself. Grab a tissue.
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