CIA analyst Jack Ryan must thwart the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.
Buddy (Affleck) has just signed an airline in Chicago as a big client, but is ironically delayed at the airport waiting for a flight to LA on that same airline. He meets fellow passenger Greg, who opts to be bumped, even though it means missing an activity with his older son. When the flight gets resumed, Buddy thinks he's doing a good deed by swapping tickets with Greg so he can get home to his son. Sadly, the flight crashes. Buddy conspires with his friend, the ticket agent that night, to take his name off the passenger list and put Greg's on. Once he's back in LA, his new client dictates that the company run a series of feel-good ads about the crash. Buddy feels very hypocritical, and completely loses it when the commercials win a Cleo. After going through re-hab, he decides he needs to check on Greg's widow. But he doesn't plan on falling in love with her. Written by
`Bounce' is an utterly winning romantic drama, replete with an intriguing storyline, believable characters and honest emotions.
Ben Affleck stars as Buddy Amaral, an arrogant hotshot advertising exec, who, in a rare moment of kindness, offers his seat on an airplane to a young writer desperate to get home to his wife and kids for the holidays. When the man dies in a plane crash, Buddy is suddenly sent on a mission of soul-searching, trying to sort out the complex emotions he is now forced to deal with. When drinking provides no solution, he feels himself compelled to seek out the man's widow, Abby, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and their two young boys. Buddy keeps his connection with them a secret as he begins to fall in love with Abby and to become a part of their wounded family.
In its bare-boned detailing, the plot may smack a bit of incredibility and contrivance. But thanks to expert writing and directing by Don Ross, every detail in the film feels just right. Take the opening scene, for instance. Ross gives the chance encounter between the two strangers who will be forever tied together by fate the loose, casual, and offhanded quality one finds in real life. Nothing in this film ever seems forced, least of all the romantic feelings these two hurt, vulnerable and attractive people feel for one another. In fact, it is the complexity of the characters that helps `Bounce' to rise above the superficiality of most films in this genre. In addition to Buddy's character-building, we see Abby trying desperately to overcome the bewildering tragedy that has befallen her, unsure of how to deal with her own feelings of loss, guilt and anger that inevitable arise from such a situation.
Affleck and Paltrow bring such an air of thoughtfulness and maturity to their roles that we find ourselves genuinely caught up in their predicament and rooting them on all the way. It's nice for a change to see a romantic film truly centered on a pair of likable grownups as opposed to the superannuated adolescents we usually find in films of this type. Here are flawed, often weak, individuals who nevertheless contain cores of genuine goodness and innate warmheartedness.
The movie also achieves additional depth and weight in its exploration of the vagaries of fate as many of the characters examine the `what if' scenarios that haunt anyone caught up in a situation like this one.
`Bounce' is well written, directed and acted. Even those who don't normally go for love stories should definitely check it out.
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