Flash Movie Review: Labor Day

How can something that feels so empty weigh one down so much? When the person you love leaves you, the leaden heart is not the only thing that sustains an injury. Granted the heart takes the majority of the impact, caving in from the flooding emptiness; but the bridge of life that connects to the heart takes heavy damage. The road of living becomes riddled with potholes that make life unbearable. Each pothole reveals the remains of a broken dream. There are so many holes that one becomes too afraid to traverse the road and relinquishes what was once the joys of living life. Every action from eating to breathing takes a monumental effort to complete. I totally understand it and know some people do life better when in a relationship. This is why I accepted the plight of Adele, played by Kate Winslet (Contagion, The Reader), in this dramatic movie. During one of their infrequent trips to the supermarket lonely Adele and her young son Henry, played by Gattlin Griffith (Changeling, Couples Retreat), were forced to help and take in a bleeding man named Frank, played by Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Oldboy). Written and directed by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Thank You for not Smoking) I was actually looking forward to this film, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard (To Die For). There were a few scenes that were beautifully done, where I could feel the emotions of the characters come to life. The scene of making a peach pie made me hungry; it was tender and touching. It pains me to say this was all that was good about the movie. I thought the script was sickly sweet with sappiness and unrealistic. The acting was not as good as it could have been, especially from Gattlin who had the same deer in the headlamps look through most of the film. During parts of this movie I found myself getting bored as things seemed to go unnaturally slow. That reminded me to mention the whole police search story line; it seemed so not urgent to me, which really was needed to build tension in the action. I also found some of the events towards the end to be unsatisfying. Any time a movie is made about someone’s heart I expect to see and feel passion. Sadly this picture failed since it had no heart.


1 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on February 4, 2014, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Sounds as bad as the preview was, though I still thought I’d give it a try… Thanks for saving me the experience! 🙂

  2. Nice review. I reviewed it yesterday and didn’t think it was too bad. Certainly a flawed film but I ended up going with it and got some entertainment. Should have been better though.

    • I enjoyed your review and felt we were not to far off; I was a bit more harsh. And you are so right; with the people involved one would have expected this to be so much better. Thanks for your comments.

  3. I actually had the opposite complaint: beyond the odd one or two overly-tender moments, the movie as a whole as ridiculously lovey-dovey. Only the teenage mind can convince itself that they can fall in love with another in the space of 36-72 hours. These were full-grown adults. I don’t know how the book reads, but I have a feeling it’s a lot better.

    Great write-up all the same.

  4. Wow, two bad reviews out of two, for a Jason Reitman film! Disappointing. I had high hopes for this. Oh well…

  5. I like the way your write- and how you opened this review was worded so well (the bridges and pothole analogy – whew – good).

    The movie sounds like a Hallmark channel or Lifetime movie… lol – and well, just goes to show you that not every film is a winner – nice post – thanks. ~y.

    • Thank you Y, I am glad you came by and enjoyed reading my review. You said it perfectly, this would be something one would find on Lifetime or Hallmark channel. Take care and thanks once again.

  6. I was a bit ambiguous about seeing this movie. The previews didn’t really catch on with me. I was hoping for more from these two actors.

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