Janie Jones is a heartwarming father daughter story. It is inspired by the true story of writer/director David Rosenthal about the introduction of a father to the teenage daughter he never knew he had. Abigail Breslin, who is officially no longer a kid, plays the teen who has lived her life with her single mom and is one of those kids that has had to grow up way before her time because she has to take care of her junkie mom (played by Elisabeth Shue.)
When Shue realizes she has gone too far and has to get clean for herself and her daughter’s future, she finds Ethan (Alessandro Nivola) and informs him that he has a daughter and then disappears to rehab.
Ethan is in no shape to help take care of a kid himself, so it’s a good thing that Janie has spent her life taking care of herself and her mom. Ethan’s hard drinking itinerant lifestyle is not conducive to a teenage girl but they are forced to give it a go. But there are many times that his anger gets the best of him and Janie winds up in in danger cause even though people forget — she is still a kid.
Janie also renews Ethan’s spirit and they connect through music and start playing gigs together. Janie is also able to embrace the musical side of herself and understand much better that side of herself after she spends time with Ethan.
You never know what’s going to happen with child stars as they age but Abigail Breslin has really developed into a lovely teen and she handles the challenges of this role — including singing and playing guitar — quite well. I hear next up is her first onscreen kiss.
The film opens today and is also available on VOD.