There are various apps and computer programs that can show us an older or younger version of ourselves. In fact I read somehwere optical stores use a program that shows the customer how they will look wearing the frames they picked out before they order new glasses, which I think is a brilliant idea. I know I do not need a program to remind me how I looked when I was younger; I have childhood friends who remind me. Funny thing though I can do the same thing to them. Depending on what they may be wearing or the situation, I can look at them and see them when they had a full head of hair or when they were taller with a straighter posture. Having spent most of our lives together we may not have noticed the aging process compared to someone who has not seen any of us in let us say a decade or longer. I truly feel fortunate that there are people around me who know me sometimes better than I know myself. They are like road markers on my life’s journey, who can confirm or remind me of the changes that have taken place in me. Looking at the younger generation in each of our families, we can spot the seeds of lifelong friendships forming between relatives and friends. Some of the qualities that are associated to a strong bond between friends can be sensitivity, empathy, non-judgemental and concern. I can say anything to any of my close friends and know I will not be judged or ridiculed. Those challenges or what some people say curveballs that life throws you do not seem so insurmountable when there is a childhood friend standing by your side. LIFELONG friends Jess and Milly, played by Drew Barrymore (Whip It, Music and Lyrics) and Toni Collette (The Way Way Back, Little Miss Sunshine), have been there for each other no matter what was going on in each of their lives. Their relationship was about to be challenged when two events started to take place from opposite sides of the spectrum. This comedic drama was fortunate in the casting of Toni and Drew as best friends because they were totally believable in their roles. Even the supporting cast of Dominic Cooper (Need for Speed, The Devil’s Double) as Kit and Paddy Considine (In America, Cinderella Man) as Jago was exceptional. I appreciated the honesty in the script; some events were handled in a way that made them easily relatable for the viewers. There were parts where I felt the writers dropped the ball to just manipulate us, however. I almost want to say to force us to tear up; but the acting smoothed some of that out. There have been a couple of recent films that had a similar story line that was better done; however, the acting here was the sweet spot of this romantic emotional story. It would not be a surprise if after seeing this film you felt like you were part of the women’s friendship.
2 1/2 stars
Living close enough to go back and visit the old neighborhood where I grew up, I fondly remember the good times I had with my friends. From playing ball in the alley, to seeing the same high school staircase where a group of kids parked a car overnight; I enjoyed living in the city back then. When my friends and I became of legal age, we were excited to buy alcohol legally. The excitement did not last long; I soon lost interest in it. Instead of hanging out with the usual group, I had a couple of friends that would go restaurant hopping with me. Since none of us liked to drink, we would go out at night and stop at different food places along the way. Talk about stuffing one’s feelings; my record was eating at five restaurants in one night. Looking back I think that was the most unusual thing I did while growing up. Granted, I have good memories of that activity but I could never go back and try to do it again; unlike the five friends in this comedy. Gary King, played by Simon Pegg (Star Trek franchise, Hot Fuzz), decided to round up the old group and see if they could complete the legendary pub crawl in their old home town. Joining him on the road trip were his friends Andy Knightley, Oliver Chamberlain, Steven Prance and Peter Page; played by Nick Frost (Paul, Shaun of the Dead), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hot Fuzz), Paddy Considine (In America, Dead Man’s Shoes) and Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes franchise, Hancock). Upon reaching their old stomping grounds, the group of friends discovered things were not exactly the same; the townsfolk were acting oddly. Little did the friends know their pub crawl would entail more than just downing a pint at each location. This humorous action film started out slow for me; though, the fast paced dialog with its British humor was easily handled by the cast members. It was not until later into the movie that things turned into a science fiction story. There were some gags and scenes that fell flat for me. Taking everything into consideration this was a madcap, fun film on the unexpected times one can have when they go back home.
2 2/3 stars