A cute little film. Very different than his previous efforts but I knew that going in. It has its share of profanity but the crude/crass humor is nicely absent. In its place is a bit more maturity (just a bit, mind you) and a little more drama than we've come to expect. With the exception of parts of Chasing Amy
, this is Kevin Smith's
only real foray into the dramatic form and, though it's a bit cliche at times (okay, the whole time), it's still an enjoyable ride.
The dialogue, as usual, is pretty interesting and entertaining.
The chemistry between Ben Affleck
and his movie daughter, Raquel Castro
. It was funny and poignant and felt like a real relationship.
The cameos. You come to expect them with his films and these were nicely done, if not entirely original.
The visuals. Having a real cinematographer does wonders and Vilmos Zsigmond
comes through with flying colors. There is some interesting camerawork in this film. He hasn't quite moved into the Scorsese
camp of constant movement but it's not entirely static like much of his earlier work. It really looks like a movie this time around and much of that credit goes to Zsigmond
His one failing in the dialogue department (okay, there is more than one but for the sake of brevity...), and it's followed him throughout each film he has done, is that all of the characters speak in his voice. That's okay when it's people his own age or in his own kind of circumstance, it gives them a sense of authenticity (or at the very least, legitimacy), but when he expands out to encompass people of different backgrounds and age ranges it stretches the bounds of credibility.
This is practically Robert McKee's
wet dream of a script. Someone could give you the logline and you'll know exactly what the rest of the plot points will be. I was hoping he would give us a curveball or two but, sadly, no. I'm not saying he's always been the most original of writers but I was hoping he would try something different here and was a bit disappointed when everything I predicted would happen came to fruition.
The music, while well used, was almost all known for other films. They didn't mention whether this was a temp track but, seeing as how it's only a couple of weeks to release, I have to believe it's not. Poor musical choices, in my opinion. Get some new stuff out there, this was entirely too mainstream and overplayed.
Overall I'd say it's a good date movie or a movie to see as a matinee but it's definitely not a theatrical must. If you have nothing else to do then take it in, it's light fare (even accounting for the dramatic aspects), and I'm sure you'll laugh at least once, smile at least twice, and forget it within an hour.