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10 Years

10 Years

What She said:

She

I should preference by saying that I didn’t bother going to my 10-year reunion.  There was a point months ahead of time where I was super jazzed to go, but the venue didn’t impress me, and let’s face it, I just got lazy.  Anyway, 10 Years is about a bunch former schoolmates who all travel back home to the middle of nowhere to attend their reunion.  It stars Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rosario Dawson, and Kate Mara, among a bunch of others.  This is truly an ensemble cast.  As they gather for the big party, we get to see each of the characters confront past regrets and reassess their lives.  The movie, as a whole, is a comedy, but there are also some serious moments.

So, there’s an obvious problem with this film—the cast.  These people are supposed to be playing 27 or 28 year olds and I don’t think I’d say a single one of them actually looked the part.  They all look like thirty-somethings.  I’m confused as to why the casting director went that route.  Either way, I tried to ignore that fact and enjoy the movie for what it did offer, and that was some decent humor, sort of in the essence of Can’t Hardly Wait.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t as funny, endearing, or memorable as Can’t Hardly Wait.  The movie offers a certain amount of quirkiness, but the characters initially come off as a bunch of Mike Dexters, those kids from high school you loved to hate.  They also weren’t quite as entertaining as Mike Dexter, so bummer.

10 Years

Ultimately, the movie touches on the fact that each character is struggling with the notion of growing up.  Jake has been planning to ask his girlfriend, Jess, to marry him for months, but he cannot seem to move past his ex.  In the meantime, Cully is perpetually 18, despite the fact he’s married with children.  He just drinks and drinks, and is completely unaware of how annoying he is.  Then we’ve got Marty and AJ, who are hiding the truth about their lives.  And, of course, the extremely successful musician, Reeves, who is the star of the reunion, but is still fixated on a missed chance with a high school girl he had a crush on.  Reeves’ borderline obsession actually comes across as a bit creepy at times.  There’s a lot of that high school-style drama in this movie, but the writers also try to keep it light. 

The movie really isn’t too bad—kinda enjoyable, in fact—despite the fact that the storyline struggles to move forward (much like the characters).  While my reunion was at a mediocre neighborhood bar, this one appears to be at some sort of super swanky country club.  Not fair.  The runtime on this film is only an hour and a half, but it feels a lot longer.  It’s not painfully long, but the plot does seem to lag around the midsection.  The movie works best when the stars begin to really undertake some self-reflection, in particular Marty and AJ.

Overall, it’s not the best, but it’s ok fodder.

Thumbs 75 percent up.

What he said:

He

10 Years tells the story of a group of individuals who gather for their high school reunion. It follows many different individuals who are all at different places in their lives. Some married, some married with kids, some unmarried with kids, some single…you get the point.

10 Years

If I had to pick a main character, it would be Jake (played by Channing Tatum), but it was definitely an ensemble cast. Jake brought along his girlfriend (played by his wife Jenna Dwan-Tatum) Jess. Jess didn’t go to high school with Jake and his friends, but has been dating him a while, knows some of his friends, and seems to fit in just fine. The two seem genuinely happy, but Jake also seems preoccupied. As the reunion has gotten closer, he begins to think about his high school sweetheart more-and-more. The word through the grapevine was that Mary (Rosario Dawson) would be attending the reunion. However, people are shocked when she shows up, particularly Jake.

Before they actually head over to the reunion, they all gather at Cully (Chris Pratt) and Sam’s (Ari Gaynor) house for a little pre-gaming. They are married with two kids and Cully is one of those guys will tell you how much he loves his wife and kids one minute, and reminisces about the glory days every other minute in between. He also mentions he wants to make amends for his behavior in high school. IT seems he was something of a Mike Dexter growing up. Also at the party are best buds Marty (Justin Long) and AJ (Max Minghella), as well as famous musician Reeves (Oscar Isaac). AJ is married and seems to want to live vicariously through his single buddy Marty.  He offers to be Marty’s wingman despite Marty’s opinion that AJ scares the ladies off more often than not. Reeves is rich and famous, but doesn’t seem to have a big ego. He seems to want to be there for a specific purpose, because he is actually a little embarrassed about all the attention he gets from his classmates, and wouldn’t have come otherwise.

When they get to the reunion they meet up with shy girl Elise (Kate Mara), popular girl Anna (Lynn Collins), party guy Andre (Anthony Mackie), Andre’s best bud Garrity (Brian Geraghty) – who has a secret he’s been keeping from his wife – and a bunch of other people too.

10 Years

There were times when certain jokes felt forced and performances felt a little off. I thought Chris Pratt’s performance as Cully was generally funny, but there were a few times it was a little much. There was also a supporting character named Scott (Scott Porter), who for some reason, I just wasn’t buying his performance. The character seems like a nice guy who was a pretty chill dude overall, but something felt a little off at times. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I often felt like I was taken out of the movie when he was on screen.  The other complaint was that some of the characters simply looked too old. Most of them were over the age of 28 and one guy was actually 37. You don’t feel like you are looking at someone who graded from high school 10 years ago when watching the movie.

Despite those flaws, I actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It’s not as laugh-out-loud funny as some other comedies, but I found it to be a pretty amusing movie overall. There was a lot of little stuff throughout that made me smirk. I also liked the story.  Coming-of-age stories are nothing new, but if something works for me, I don’t care if its original. Some of the revelations about certain characters lives surprised me. I thought maybe they would head in a fairly stereotypical direction, but I give the movie credit for throwing me a curveball. I don’t feel like the resolutions to some of the character’s stories were the easy way out. There were a few thins I thought I saw coming a mile away, but it unfolded differently than I thought.

I have to give Channing Tatum credit. Aside from his ridiculous haircut, he was good in this role. His career started with a bunch of very cliché chick flicks, but I think he’s shown much more range lately. There was also several other performances I liked that kind of negated the few that I felt were a little much at times. Aubrey Plaza and Brian Geraghty had good chemistry. I liked Kate Mara's character a good deal too. She just seemed like a really nice low-key person. Justin Long can be pretty funny and I thought he was in this role.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on January 11, 2013.

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