Monday, 21 November 2011

The Rebound

Lowdown: A divorced middle aged woman with kids has an affair with a much younger guy.
MILF is a rather confronting term: I don’t know what’s more shameful, admitting to know what the term stands for or being so out of touch as to not knowing what it stands for. Yet MILF is the concept used by Hollywood’s marketing departments when they worked hard to think what other ideas they can use in order to come up with an excuse for a romantic comedy. The Rebound is the result of their effort.
The MILF factor is portrayed by a Catherine Zeta-Jones portraying the role of Sandy. Sandy is a 40 year old devoted mother whose entire life revolves around her two children, giving up on the promises of her talents and education in the process (tell me about it!). Her world shatters when she discovers a video that's too conveniently placed on her product placed Mac, portraying her husband’s sexual escapades with a female neighbor. In need of a rebound, Sandy gets a divorce, and moves from the suburbs to inner city New York.
Her friends try and help, but one thing leads to another and Sandy ends up rebounding through Aram (Justin Bartha), a nice Jewish boy in his early twenties. Aram is a divorcee of sorts, too, traumatized by the French girl who married and quickly dumped him to get her Green Card. As much as he was wronged, he is still unable to file for the divorce that would get his ex evicted. He’s a nice guy all around who is yet to realize how to get his own in life. That is, until Sandy steps in: he gets along well with the kids, he gets along well with the mother, so how can he go wrong? By now you can get the gist of what The Rebound is about; it’s as predictable as any American made romantic comedy, but it does pull a good one on you from time to time.
Casting is one of the ways The Rebound pulls its tricks through. On the one hand, the casting of Art Garfunkel is Aram’s father is brilliant: sure, I’m severely biased, but I think Garfunkel’s moments under the limelight are the film’s most interesting. However, with The Rebound things come down to one question: Can the glamorous Zeta-Jones truly portray the average midlife crisis struck woman? I don’t think so. Add Sandy’s own doing too well to be true on her new career path and The Rebound totally loses credibility in its attempt to tell us not to fear change so much as to avoid tackling the relationships that just don’t work anymore. Or is The Rebound trying anything at all other than mild entertainment?
Best scene: Sandy’s blind date isn’t going too well when her partner starts a discussion with her while he’s inside a toilet, proving there is lots of room for unexplored toilet humor.
Technical assessment: An average Blu-ray.
Overall: Mildly better than average but still a run of the mill romantic comedy. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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