How to Make an American Quilt could've also been titled how to make a hit romantic Hollywood motion picture: take a bunch of talented actors (I use it without reference to gender), throw in a few rehashed subplots involving ditched loves, and add some fairy tale notions involving crows and quilts.
Winona Ryder, who is cute as usual, plays Finn Dodd. Dodd is spending her summer at her grandmother's house to have time to herself to make a decision about her fiance's marriage proposal, and to finish her Master's thesis. Her grandrelatives and their friends are part of a quilting circle, who are working on a quilt for her wedding. When Dodd's relationship with her fiance starts getting a bit rocky, she begins to question the validity of her relationship with him. While she does this, she is accompanied by the various experiences of the people in the quilting circle.
While none of the characters get enough time (each story could've been made into a movie on its own (and it probably has!)), I think the mushing in of the various subplots was done quite well. The acting is convincing for the most part, and the melodrama is nicely distilled by the humour. Definitely worth checking out if you're tired of conventional action movies.
Quite a few scenarios relating to infidelity are observed here: husband leaves wife after she has borne three children, husband cheats around on wife and begs for forgiveness, husband sleeps with wife's sister, and other sorts of affairs. In light of all this, Dodd rightly questions the logic of matrimony. Regardless of the ending in this movie, one should pay heed to a lot of what she says. In this day and age, her words make the most sense. Marriage is an insitution.