Monday, December 13, 2010

Flipped: Movie Review

"Flipped" has all the comedy, naiveté and bewilderment of first love.

Juli just had to take one look at Bryce's blue eyes, and she knew it was true love. Bryce just had to take one notice of Juli's manic desperation, and he knew it was going to be a friendship of torment. I just had to take one look at the film's artfully designed poster, and I knew Flipped was a film to be savoured. 2010

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Screenplay by: Rob Reiner and Andrew Scheinman

Starring: Madeline Carroll and Calan McAuliffe

A beautifully told film of first love, we flip from Juli's point of view to Bryce's point of view, very effectively giving us the true nature of their friendship, love and respect they have for each other. Except in the case of middle-school graders, that love and respect can frequently look like embarrassment, mistrust, and shame. This film is told with a lot of intelligence, subtlety and humour as we navigate all of those emotions that teenagers manically flip between.

Filmmaker Rob Reiner has taken Wendelin Van Draanen’s popular young teen romance novel and changed the era to the 60s. One of the more important aspects of Flipped, is that it is timeless. This could be set in any era and the story will feel just as genuine and sincere.

The beginning is not a meet cute, because this film is not a romance film, but a romantic coming-of-age, exploration of lives led and the intersection of those lives. Nonetheless, at the beginning we meet Juli (Madeline Carroll) and Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) when Bryce’s family moves to her Norman Rockwellian street. They go to school together, grow up together, and whatever fate may have in store for them, their parents’ relationships and interactions will affect that.

Juli’s family is middle-of-the-road working class roots, while Bryce’s family is a little more tightly wound. In among all the push and pull of their families and how Juli and Bryce each see their own relationship, is a beautiful Sycamore tree and its fate.

Flipped has all of the comedy, naiveté and bewilderment of first love. It takes the romantic comedy farther by actually giving us characters with real depth. There is more going on than just Juli and Bryce figuring out their love for each other, and every aspect of this film is well written, touching and relevant.

Flipped is a cute film for everybody who fondly remembers that fiercely independent girl or the guy with piercing blue eyes that lived across the street.


Never Let Me Go (2010) - Romantic drama and science fiction of kids growing up together and falling in love.