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BOUNCE

SYNOPSIS:
Buddy Amaral (Ben Affleck) is a hotshot ad executive from Los Angeles. While in Chicago on business, he finds his flight to LA delayed. Taking refuge in the bar, he meets Greg Janello (Tony Goldwyn), a writer anxious to return to LA to be with his family. With his eye on the beautiful Mimi (Natasha Hestridge), Buddy gives Greg his ticket so Greg can get back in time – leaving Buddy some free time for Mimi. When he wakes next day, he finds the plane has crashed. Buddy’s life begins a downward spiral, ending in alcohol rehab. After getting straight but still driven by guilt, he seeks out Greg’s widow Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow).

"One of the freshest films of the year, Bounce is a surprise packet from start to finish. Still, you’d almost expect that from filmmaker Don Roos who brought us The Opposite of Sex. It begins with one of the most beautifully constructed scenes you’re likely to see for some time, then segues into a romantic drama which registers true emotion, not empty sentimentality. Everything about the film rings true. The characters are much more convincing than your standard Hollywood flick, the situations are sometimes achingly real (I’ve got to admit several hit home with me) and the script doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. Even the kids, who could so easily have been stereotyped little angels, actually behave like real kids. Much of the credit must go to Roos who also wrote the screenplay. If it has a failing, it’s that the pace flags a little in the latter stages; but I for one don’t mind. Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow have great chemistry on-screen (whatever their off-screen situation might be). Paltrow in particular shows why she’s an A-list actress, playing against type as a dowdy young mum and real estate broker. Indeed, there are some parallels with her earlier fine work in Sliding Doors. As the movie is (naturally) centred on Buddy and Abby, there’s not much scope for other cast members to stand out. One who does is the reliable Joe Morton as Buddy’s business partner. Full of wit, charm and poignancy, Bounce is an astonishing little film in many ways. Don’t miss it."
David Edwards

"Why have American film critics warmed to this schmaltzy romantic drama while we no-nonsense Aussie crits find it hard to swallow? Is it because Bounce features 106 minutes of love saga between two young stars with a real-life love saga of their own? The US box office proved that theory again with Russell and Meg’s Proof of Life. Or is it simply because there hasn’t been a bona-fide romance movie a la Sleepless in Seattle in years? Whatever it is, it was more than I and a female critic sitting next to me could bear. To give it its due, Bounce is a fairly well made romance. Its eye for detail offers a pretty accurate portrait of the style and mood of the yuppie class right now. It’s propped up by believable performances all round, with Paltrow familiarly fragile and Affleck at his hangdog best. Writer-director Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) gets the best from his well-worn material, even if it’s miles from his grittier debut. But the idea of Affleck’s Buddy romancing Paltrow’s widow Abby isn’t as morally ambiguous as Roos would like us to think. The obstacles to the relationship (the recovery from past issues, the kids, business or pleasure…) are contrived and long winded. It’s obvious why Ben and Gwyneth are in this film – to get it on – and everything else seems like filler. I found myself cringing at all the tear-soaked scenes leading up to the inevitable. Give me the witty dialogue and razor-sharp observations of When Harry Met Sally any day. But in context, this is High Formula Hollywood filmmaking, and while it may make a great date film for aspiring romantics between 15 and 30, it won’t do a thing for anyone else. Then again, I’m a hopeless romantic between 15 and 30, and Bounce did nothing for me, either."
Shannon J Harvey

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

BOUNCE (M)
(US)

CAST: Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Tony Goldwyn, Alex D. Linz, Natasha Henstridge, Jennifer Grey

DIRECTOR: Don Roos

PRODUCER: Michael Besman, Steve Golin

SCRIPT: Don Roos

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Elswit

EDITOR: David Codron

MUSIC: Mychael Danna, Anita Daulne and Marie Daulne (song "Rafiki")

PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Wasco

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 1, 2001

VIDEO RELEASE: November 7, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista Home Entertainment







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