MADELINE CARROLL CALLAN MCAULIFFE REBECCA DE MORNAY ANTHONY ECDWARDS
JOHN MAHONEY PENELOPE ANN MILLER AIDAN QUINN
Oscar winning filmmaker Rob Reiner (The American President, Ghosts of Mississippi) may have long lost his status of top rate conventional film maker in Hollywood, but his new film Flipped reminds us that often an old fashioned tale is as welcome as something unique and insightful. Flipped is a 1960’s era film that is everything Disney family films are not. Flipped might appeal to the middle aged/high school crowd it centers around, but I think nostalgia for adults is this scripts biggest weapon. Reiner who once could land any top earning celebrity he wanted for a film, instead chooses actors more specific for their roles, actors mostly seen on the stage these days and the film is better for it.
Juli Baker (Carroll) has just gotten a new neighbor in her small town; The Loski’s whom she instantly runs over to great before they can enter their new front door. Bryce Loski (McAuliffe) who is Juli’s age is immediately repelled by this girl who doesn’t seem to understand his reluctance to be around her, as the years move forward his regard for her remains the same, while Juli becomes obsessed with the blond hair blue eyed boy. It takes Bryce until high school to realize that he has liked Julie all along, but by then the cruel things he has said to her has changed her mind, and he will get desperate to once again find that attention he carelessly took for granted.
There are hundreds of eye rolling feel good moments from the script, based on the book that are used to either warm the hearts of the viewer, or make them puke at the sentimentality. It’s viewer’s choice how you want to see this film; I can’t recall a similar film since Simon Birch. Flipped isn’t a movie about tragedy or heart ache, its more about two different sides of an adolescent love that we rarely see in cinema today. It would be easier to find a film focused on the same age group about sex, violence or destruction than what you see here; therefore the classic becomes fresh again.
Reiner stays away from expensive sets, impressive locations or nomination worthy camera work, returning us to the literal and technological age of Leave it to Beaver, but with an undeniably touching story that is well performed by the two young leads Carroll and McAuliffe. My biggest complaint about this film is that it’s too short, I wanted more, more exploration of the parents which were multilayered and very interesting, all of the parents were well acted. There are few movies that young adults, not children, can sit down and enjoy with their parents that will create a lasting impression, and I think this is one of those films that will serve that purpose. I plan on taking this film home to share with my family over the holidays.
Final Thought – Acclaimed director Reiner returns with the smallest of shining surprises.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih