Rating: 3 stars out of 5
The Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Steve Antonucci, Marc Alan Austen, Paul Basile
The Story: Sandy is a middle-aged housewife and mother of two precocious children living the suburban dream, right up until she stumbles upon video evidence of her husband’s infidelity accidentally stored on her computer. She immediately takes the kids and moves to New York City where she finds work at a sports network and rents an apartment above a coffeehouse.
There she befriends the barista downstairs named Aram. He is in his mid-twenties and has just been dumped by a French girl who married him for a green card. Aram is hired as a part-time nanny for Sandy’s kids whom he gets along with marvellously. Soon enough Sandy and Aram begin developing feelings for each other and start dating. Though the relationship is blissful, doubts creep in about whether this age-inappropriate love is real or simply a rebound.
The Buzz:The Rebound marks one of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ rare film appearances after the widely panned No Reservations in 2007 and little seen Death Defying Acts in 2008. In fact these last 3 projects represent her only Hollywood output in the last 6 years. She has been keeping busy on stage though, where her portrayal of Desiree in A Little Night Music landed her a Tony Award last year for Best Leading Actress in A Musical.
inSing says: The film initially starts out on the cheesy side, with its two romantic leads meeting in cutesy, improbable ways but once the relationship starts to develop, you start to realise The Rebound is quite unlike many romantic-comedies you’ve seen. You almost begin to expect contrivances, misunderstandings, love triangles and eleventh-hour patch-ups from a genre this well-worn writer-director Bart Freundlich continually subverts expectations.
It stays refreshingly devoid of clichés and simply tells of the joys and pitfalls of honest love. There indeed is never a question of the couple’s true feelings; it’s just the practicalities of timing that gets in the way. Aram is much too young to be saddled with Sandy’s responsibilities and though she loves him, she knows that it will be unfair to deprive him of his carefree twenties. Not that Aram much cares - this is a guy who knows that this is what he wants.
The love story ends on a lovely and realistic note, which some might say is far too sweet but at least the journey to that seemingly happy conclusion feels organic. The comedic highlights are owned by Sandy’s adorably clever children but the film isn’t over abundant with side-splitting laughs as a whole. While the comedy bit is lacking, its romance should be praised for its credibility. Bartha and Zeta-Jones (who isn’t averse to age-inappropriate relationships in real life either) do a great job at realistically portraying what a true love cougar romance must be like.
Hidzir Junaini, aka inSing.com's Movie Lover, is 24-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for Metrowize Asia. Hidzir is the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.
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