The first time I saw a warning label printed on a product, I remember thinking why would anyone want to buy something that could harm them. It was a pack of cigarettes, I recall. The other item I remember were those plastic bags that dry cleaners used to wrap customers’ freshly laundered clothing. Today it seems as if almost everything comes with some type of warning. Some of them make sense like the ones regarding medicine and over the counter drugs. I am someone who wants to know if a drug is going to make me sleepy or loopy. Recently I bought a hot air popcorn popper and there was a warning not to submerge the base of it in water because it could be an electrical hazard. Ok, that makes sense to me. Now there are some product warnings I have seen where I think the manufacturer must be assuming the person buying their product has no common sense. Shouldn’t everyone know to lift up a hot pot by its handles? I absolutely understand companies are afraid they will get sued, but doesn’t the consumer bear some of the responsibility? Wasn’t there something in the news about a person taking legal action against a fast food chain because the hot coffee filled cup they placed between their legs, while driving out of the drive thru, spilled and burned their legs? Regarding movies, each of them comes with a rating which in a way is like a warning about the content of that particular film. None of the current ratings explain the warning one needs before seeing this comedy. HAVING recently buried his wife Dick Kelly, played by Robert De Niro (Joy, Being Flynn), convinced his soon to be married grandson Jason, played by Zac Efron (Neighbors, That Awkward Moment), to take him on a road trip. Their trip would reveal many new surprises. I want to know how the cast which also included Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures, Ringer-TV) as Shadia, Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed, Life After Beth) as Lenore and Julianne Hough (Safe Haven, Footloose) as Meredith could do any type of press tour and not be embarrassed by this movie. This was one of the worst films I have seen in the past year. The script was vulgar, crude, obnoxious and offensive; I could go on. It is astounding that these actors agreed to do this picture, especially Robert De Niro. Sure he can do comedy but why would he set himself up for ridicule. I guarantee you when the time comes to do a tribute to him; this movie will not be included in any of the film clips of his past roles. In regards to Zac, it seemed to me as if he counted on his looks more than his limited acting skills. This movie needed a warning label so innocent people would not spend their money and unwittingly let the studio know it is okay to make a crappy film.
More times than not, the body can heal quicker from a physical attack than from an emotional one. The body immediately works at repairing itself where the mind tends to absorb the emotional abuse, letting it settle close enough to always be heard. It takes much effort to overcome that strange voice talking from the inner mind. Running away is usually only a temporary option. Such was the case for the main character Katie, played by Julianne Hough (Footloose, Burlesque), who found herself one day in the small coastal town of Southport, North Carolina. Deciding to settle down and leave her past behind, Katie tried to keep to herself even when widowed shop owner Alex, played by Josh Duhamel (Transformers franchise, When in Rome), tried to help her out. Could Katie really leave her old life behind and find happiness in this peaceful place? Adapted from the Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One, The Notebook) novel that I did not read; I was surprised by the suspenseful opening scenes. Beautifully filmed, Julianne and Josh were okay in their roles as they made a handsome couple. I thought David Lyons (Eat Pray Love, Storm Warning) as Tierney did a better job of acting; his character was creepy. It was possible the script made his role easier, since the rest of the formulaic story was syrupy and rushed in places. The scenes felt forced to me, as if the goal was to get a reaction out of the audience instead of the actors. I found one of the twists in the story to be utterly unnecessary which made me angry enough to lower my rating of this dramatic film. Before I am asked, this movie worked as a date movie. By the end of the film I was physically tired from sitting and unsatisfied emotionally.
I was all set for this DVD; even had my dance shoes with me. However, instead of dancing up a storm with the movie, I only wound up tapping my feet. What was right on the beat were the dance numbers. It only stood to reason when the lead roles were filled with dancers Julianne Hough (Burlesque) as Ariel Moore and Kenny Wormald (Center Stage: Turn it Up) as Ren McCormack. Out of the two, Julianne offered better acting skills, along with a better screen presence. As for the music and updated songs from the original film, they were off the mark. In my head I was hearing the original artists’ version, not the drab ones spilling out of my speakers. If you never saw the original Footloose, I do not think you would mind seeing this movie, about a town that outlawed dancing along with rock and roll music. Just don’t plan on working up a sweat from it.
2 1/3 stars — DVD