Flash Movie Review: Your Place or Mine
THERE WAS ALWAYS THAT AWKWARD MOMENT when I would introduce one of my best friends to my date. You see, a couple of my closest friends are female; one of them was my girlfriend in elementary school. Because I have had such a long history with my closest friends, they mince no words in voicing an opinion and for that, I am grateful. Some of the people I have dated never made it to the “meeting the best friend” stage; but others had, and a few did so with trepidation. I understood their concerns because it was rare for me not to talk about my best friends early in the relationship. It was never difficult for them to figure out what an important part these friends play in my life, and I could understand their concerns because if I was in their place, I would probably feel the same way. I never considered meeting my friends as a test; it was more about me having strong enough feelings towards this person that I wanted my best friends to see for themselves. Some dates, I found out later, felt threatened on some level. If I was able to perceive it, I would try to start a conversation with them to understand why. What became apparent to me among those that felt threatened was they all seemed to lack a certain level of confidence. At some point soon after meeting these dates they would drift away from maintaining their relationship with me. WHENEVER I MET FOR THE FIRST time my date’s friends, I always kept a mindset that I knew I was going to be judged but I never gave it a thought. I could only be myself; if my date needed reassurances or criticisms from their friends I was okay with it. However, if they acted on their friends’ comments then I knew the two of us were not meant to be together. There were never any hard feelings. The thing I found interesting was the fact that I was in a minority, because not many of the people I dated had close friends of the opposite sex. My way of thinking was, why wouldn’t they want to have that opportunity to see things through the eyes of someone different. Not that I ever made a big deal about it; it was just a curiosity I have always had inside of me. Because of my close friends, I feel I have a better appreciation or understanding of the things that make a relationship stronger. Of course, the fundamental action in any relationship is the ability to communicate; one must be able to express their feelings. This is good advice even for the characters in this romantic comedy. WHEN LONG TERM FRIENDS SWAP THEIR homes for a short period of time to help one of them in a pinch, they discover things they never knew about each other, even after all the years they have been friends. With Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Home Again) as Debbie Dunn, Ashton Kutcher (No Strings Attached, That ‘70s Show-TV) as Peter Coleman, Zoe Chao (Downhill, Strangers-TV) as Minka, Jesse Williams (The Cabin in the Woods, Grey’s Anatomy-TV) as Theo Martin and Wesley Kimmel (The Hater, Jimmy Kimmel Live!-TV) as Jack; this film’s strength was having Reese and Ashton in it. However, for a rom com, they had little chemistry between them. The script was quite generic and predictable, unfortunately. I thought the idea behind the story was different, but there really was no emotional connections, let alone the odd roles left for the supporting cast. This was such a weird mix of scenarios, that I fell into a mindless state. Each of the main actors alone could have been better if they had the right script, though Ashton has not lost his ability to say something with just a look of his face or actions. When left with the choice of one of their places, you would be better off booking a room somewhere else.
1 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Senior Year
MAYBE I AM BIASED BUT FROM the people I have met, those that told me they had a wonderful time in high school were more than likely part of a clique or group. I am not saying that as a negative or positive; it is simply my findings. When someone is part of a group, they immediately have a social structure in place where they can find support, friendship, kinship, and a variety of other attributes. But if one is not part of a group, they could have a tougher go of it through their school years. Trust me, I should know. It was not until my junior year before I found a group of students that I would hang out and do things with, in and outside of school. Before you think I was a hermit or something when I started high school, I want to state I did have friends throughout my years in school; the only difference early on is none of us were part of a group. We did not participate in sports activities, let alone any other sanctioned groups of the school. I was on the school paper one year, but after that nothing else. PART OF THE REASON I DID not want to be part of a group/clique was due to the ones I did see when I started high school. There was a sport, a cheerleader, a druggie, and an academia (brainiac) group, along with a few others. The most lethal group to me was the “popular” group. Freshman year I saw two older girls get in a fight that was vicious. They were scratching, slapping, and ripping each other apart until a teacher came and broke them up. The reason I knew they were part of a popular clique was due to hearing a couple of junior students talking in the lunchroom. It turned me off from wanting to be part of a group. Also, my high school was one of the smaller ones in the city; maybe if it had offered more options of interest, I would have had a different mindset. It is easy for me to say this now, so many years later; but back then I always had an issue being part of a social pecking order, where one is supposed to look and act a certain way. I always gravitated to those who embraced their individuality. Maybe it would be easier to explain if I suggest you watch this comedic drama. AFTER BEING IN A COMA FOR 20 years since her high school senior year, a former cheerleader who was hoping to become the prom queen, wants to return and win her crown. With Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect franchise, Isn’t it Romantic) as Stephanie, Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys, The Beguiled) as young Stephanie, Mary Holland (Happiest Season, Keeping Company) as Martha, Sam Richardson (We’re the Millers, Hooking Up) as Seth and Zoe Chao (Downhill, Love Life-TV) as Tiffany; this movie’s saving grace was having Rebel Wilson as the lead. If you like her style of comedy, she gave it her best with the little the script provided her. Besides being predictable, there was only a couple of times where I chuckled at a scene. For the most part, the script tried to do too much and wound up doing little. There were scenes that were not believable, some that were touching, others that tried to be funny; yet all together they did not blend well with each other. At times, the musical numbers seemed to have been created because the writers did not know which way to go next. Overall, there is not much here to make the viewer want to go back and experience their high school years. There was an extra scene during the ending credits.
1 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Downhill
I AM REPEATING WHAT WAS TOLD to me because it has been decades since I have eaten red meat. A friend and I were deciding where to eat for dinner one night. For the fact they enjoy steak, I suggested one of those steak restaurants that reference the state of Texas for some reason. Usually, these places always have other options I can choose for my meal. Before I tell you what my friend said, I want you to know I am not conveying a negative message about any restaurant; this is simply one person’s opinion I am sharing with you. My friend asked me why I would suggest such a place; I told him the reason I stated above. He said if he wanted a steak, he wanted a “good” steak; he was not going to settle for a cheaper brand/cut of meat for his meal. I asked him if he could really tell the difference and he said absolutely. I did wonder if everyone thought the way he did, how would these types of restaurants stay in business? Does one need to be a connoisseur to know when one item is better than another I wondered? When it comes to food, I call myself a low rent eater; I enjoy going to diners and other restaurants that do not do anything fancy to their food. The bottom line for me is I want something that not only tastes good but that I enjoy as well. I AM THE SAME WAY ABOUT movies. As you know, I simply want to be entertained when I am watching a film. I do not pick pictures apart down to every detail. There have been times I have gone to see a movie that the critics have raved about and I wind up sitting in the theater bored out of my mind. These esoteric films that suit a small group of people, where I am sitting in my seat totally confused, are a waste of time for me. Yet I feel compelled to sit through them so I can review them. I try my best to find something redeeming to talk about when I review such movies. In a way, I tend to do the same thing when it comes to food. I have no problem going to a fast food restaurant for a meal. If it tastes good and provides me some type of pleasure, then I am fine with it. Unfortunately, with this comedic drama that was inspired by a Swedish film, I would have rather sat through the original one again and avoid this current production. A FAMILY VACATIONING IN THE ALPS find themselves in the direct path of an avalanche. Though the physical aspect of it was scary enough, it was the aftermath that would be more troublesome. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said, Veep-TV) as Billie, Will Ferrell (Holmes & Watson, Daddy’s Home franchise) as Pete, Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Thin Red Line) as Charlotte, Zoe Chao (Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Strangers-TV) as Rosie and Zach Woods (The Other Guys, The Office-TV) as Zach; this movie was painful to see. The original film called “Force Majeure” I reviewed and absolutely loved it. The idea for the story was so smart and thought provoking; the writers and director of that film did a wonderful job in telling the story. In this picture, I only enjoyed Julia’s performance; she really tried her best to make something out of this movie, but it was not enough. There was no finesse or nuance to the acting from the rest of the cast and the script did none of them a favor. There was a heavy-handedness that prevailed through most aspects in the making of this picture. As with my food, I am fine going to a lower end place; I do not have an issue going to an updated version of something I have already seen. However, in the case of this film I would only go see Force Majeure and skip this poor version of it.
1 ½ stars