Sunday, May 13, 2012

FLIPPED (2005)

Directed By: Rob Reiner Written By: Rob Reiner & Andrew Scheinen Based on the book by: Wendelin Van Draanen Cinematography By: Thomas Del Ruth Editor: Robert Leighton Cast: Madeline Carroll, Callen McAuliffe, Rebecca DeMornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Aidan Quinn, Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Weisman

Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce's baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird--after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli's unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce's brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn't care about other people's feelings about chickens and trees? With Flipped, mystery author Wendelin Van Draanen has taken a break from her Sammy Keyes series...

It has been awhile since rob Reiner has made a substantial film. Over the years he has made memorable to classic films such as A FEW GOOD MEN, MISERY, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, THIS IS SPINAL TAP. Then for awhile he was making either high minded films that felt bloated like GHOSTS OF MISSIPPI and NORTH . or strange jobs that seem more for hire jobs then anything else ALEX & EMMA. With this film he seems to go back to the drawing board. Nothing quite earth shattering or reeking of a comeback. He actually ends up making a nice quiet little film that has a certain charm going for it.

This film is more aimed at kids as a coming of age tale. It deals with some adult subjects but keeps things innocent and sweet. While not quite the quality of Princess Bride it is better and feels more genuine then NORTH.

While at times the film gets sugary sweet and overboard sentimental it actually feels heartwarming. I like how the tale is told in a he said, she said manner and while not exactly repeating each other stories from a different point of view. It continues the tale the other starts sort of like a game of telephone. You do get the full story.

One thing that might anger audiences that I actually admired is that in the beginning of the film romance is hinted at and the biggest moment that seems like it is coming for the two kids to fall in love and kiss. I like that the film makes you wait and then just when that moment seems to be coming the film ends up leaving it very vague whether or not it actually happens.

It also has the character deal with the harsh real world. Not too nightmarish but hints at things they are going to have to learn to deal with in the future. It tries to set up age old class division and makes a villain out of Anthony Edwards character. Who is the male leads father. I like that he is such a hate filled character but he is one of the protagonist parent so he does have some humanity but while he is the villain of the film he doesn’t ever have a change of heart or see the evil of his ways. His story Is never resolved which feels a bit more real. We all disagree with our parents but we love them even if we an’t see eye to eye on certain subjects and issues.

The book is set in modern times the film changes the setting to the 1960’s I am guessing to make the viewers see theinnocence and make it feel nostalgic as the characters change the decade in the film is changing from a classic mentality to a radical new one.

The film feels like a storybook, the lush visuals the innocence the colors. It is a film that sneaks up on you. You think you know what to expect and it will all be simple. While it doesn’t stray too far from what you imagine. It is certainly enjoyable as you watch.

A Satisfying Rental.

Grade: B-

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