A class reunion you won't forget
Stars: Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Chris Pratt, Scott Porter, Brian Geraghty, Max Minghella, Anthony Mackie, Lynn Collins, Rosario Dawson, Jenna Dewan, Ari Graynor, Aaron Yoo and Oscar Isaac
Director/Scriptwriter: Jamie Linden
Rating: PG 13 for language and themed material
Running Length: 105 minutes
There are class reunions and then there are class reunions. Channing Tatum, taking time off from dancing in Magic Mike, has filmed an interesting story about commitment. Those who commit to a relationship even when it is going downhill and those who view commitment as something akin to the common cold. A 10-year class reunion is the place to view relationships that continue from high school in different ways. This film has a large cast and many of the women have long dark hair, so seen in profile, the audience doesn't always know who is who.
The film begins with Jake (Channing Tatum) driving to his class reunion with girlfriend, Jess (Jenna Dewan.) She doesn't really want to go, but gives in. First, they go to the house of Cully (Chris Pratt) and wife, Sam (Ari Graynor) and their kids. It is bedlam and the only people annoyed are the guests. Cully (a big guy with no sense when it comes to consuming alcohol) seems to have fallen into family life just fine, which surprises his friends. Also there are close friends (don't leave each other's side), Marty (Justin Long) and AJ (Max Minghella), who live in the past and act like 16-year-olds. They lust for the girl of their high school dreams, Anna (Lynn Collins) who comes to the reunion dressed like a cocktail waitress. Through all of this, Jake is quietly looking for someone, Mary (Rosario Dawson) who comes with (gasp) a husband. Is it too late for Jake? What about his girlfriend, Jess? Add to this mix (and you need a passenger list by now) is Scott (Scott Porter) who moved to Japan and returned for the reunion and Reeves (Oscar Isaac) who has made it big as a rock musician and is everyone's idol. Then there is Peter Jung (Aaron Yoo) who was terrorized by Cully in high school and spends the entire time avoiding the big guy who is drunk and trying to apologize for past behavior. This then, is the reunion that moves from a house to the reunion place to a karaoke bar.
Humor is provided by people wanting to do things they were sneaky about in high school. Just getting a glass of booze isn't enough in an adult life, they have to flinch baby bottles and drink liquor from them just to say they got away with it. Unmarried adults riding in a car that was used by children have a rude awakening. Trying to buy cartons of tissue in a convenient store with a plausible excuse is another funny moment.
10 Years has good acting, especially from Channing Tatum who conveys much with longing looks, Chris Pratt as the guy who can't stop drinking and Ari Graynor as his wife who proclaims she isn't a wife but "his babysitter." There are humorous vignettes throughout and whenever one ends, there is always drunken Cully apologizing to someone and falling down. One gets the feeling that 10 Years could have continued on screen for 10 years, but the filmmaker ends each vignette somewhat satisfactorily, and that is a let down. The audience wants an answer and doesn't get it. People realize they need to grow up, such as Marty and AJ who paper Anna's house only to get a big surprise. One wants Peter Jung to come on with martial arts and drop-kick Cully or for Sam to put an ice bucket on Cully's head. That's not the reality here. As it stands, 10 Years gives most of Hollywood's young actors a place in the script to have a few moments to themselves. Your best friend in high school may still have words of wisdom for you, but on the other hand, dreams don't come true, what we want for ourselves in high school was left there, and the world doesn't play favorites. 10 Years can't make up its mind, but it is a good attempt. One wonders what 20 years would do to this group of people?
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner
For another Channing Tatum film review see:
21 Jump Street