"Ricci in one of her better post-Wednesday, pre-radiator roles."
Despite the title, which has sexist connotations and is inaccurate to boot (nobody digs for gold here), 'Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain' is a likable attempt at a teen-girl variation on a Huck Finn-style adventure.Christina Ricci is Beth, who moves from L.A. to the woodsy Wheaton, Washington, with her recently widowed mom (Polly Draper). Beth befriends local tomboy and outcast Jody (Anna Chlumsky), whose alcoholic mom (Diana Scarwid) lives with her abusive boyfriend (David Keith).
Jody’s hero is the legendary Molly Morgen, a turn-of-the-century girl who passed as a boy, worked in the mines of Bear Mountain, and supposedly died in a cave-in. Jody believes Molly not only survived but found a motherlode of gold — and Jody might know where the gold is.
Disappointingly, the film is less an adventure than a drama focusing on Jody’s home troubles; it takes place, oddly, in 1980 and is narrated by the adult Beth, who tells us at the start that Jody is the greatest woman she knows ... so there goes any suspense.Still, there’s the strong earth-mother subtext of the girls delving into the giant womb of the mountain in search of gold hidden by a woman, and Ricci and Chlumsky are appealing as always.