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The Greatest

The Greatest

What he said:

She

Who’s in the mood for a little baby mama drama?  The Greatest raises the stakes on melodrama when a girl named Rose (Carey Mulligan) approaches her dead boyfriend’s family shortly after his funeral to drop a bomb, she’s carrying his unborn child.  The parents, played by Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan, are floored, especially since they’re already struggling with their son’s unexpected death.  But, young Rose teaches them valuable lessons in coming to terms with loss, effective communication, and the enduring value of love.

So, for the most part this movie was tolerable, but my patience was certainly tested.  Mainly by the overdone plot and characters.  It was just too much.  You could cut the tension with a knife.  I haven’t felt that much drama since junior high.  There were some good performances—I actually thought the best was from Brosnan—but the plot was a little lifeless (pun intended) and lackluster.  Sarandon was just too desperate and emotional, although I guess that is to be expected when you lose a child.  She had very little give to her though.  Mulligan was ok.  I mean, I think she’s a bit overhyped as an actress, but she did hold her own. 

If things weren’t SO dramatic, I think this could have been pretty good.  The lessons learned were painfully slow to realization and yet extremely predictable.  I wished the movie could have been a little more straightforward, and that the dialogue and plot would have actually done the cast justice.

Diagnosis:  Thumbs mostly down.

What he said:

He

The whole time I was watching this I could have sworn it was made for TV movie. It screamed Lifetime Network. 

Lifetime movies are pretty much the “dramatic” cousins of SyFy Channel originals. While not something I necessarily seek out, they can actually be pretty entertaining (I didn’t say good) if you are in the mood for something melodramatic or even straight up trashy; take this for example.

Unfortunately for this movie, it is not a Lifetime movie and such similarities to one work against it. A good bad movie is easily better than one that’s supposed to be taken seriously and turns out poorly. For me, that was the movie’s downfall.  The whole thing was so over-the-top it just felt amateurish. Like I said before, that only works in the right setting.

One good thing I will say though is that Susan Sarandon is really good at playing unlikeable people. That is not meant to be a backhanded compliment either. She’s legitimately good at playing moody – if not downright mean – people.

Verdict Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on April 1, 2011.