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Back in 1973, an episode of "All in the Family" told the same story from three different perspectives, one of which was from the point of view of Mike "Meathead" Stivic, played by Rob Reiner. Watching his latest directorial effort, I wondered if the "he said / she said" gimmick of that episode ("Everybody Tells the Truth") was what attracted Reiner to "Flipped," the young-adult novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, which employs the same multi-POV technique that Lawrence Durrell perfected with his "Alexandria Quartet" in the late 1950s. The film version of "Flipped" shows Reiner at the top of his form, a worthy addition to an ouevre that includes such classics as "This Is Spinal Tap," "Misery," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Stand By Me," the 1986 period piece that "Flipped" most recalls, with its younger characters and coming-of-age theme. At the heart of "Flipped" is Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll), a smart, pretty and thoughtful girl who you just can't help losing your heart to. Juli herself flips for Bryce Loski, who is at first repelled by Juli and then slowly starts to see her for the lovely person she is. The cast is augmented by such pros as John Mahoney (Frasier's dad on "Cheers"), Anthony Edwards, Aidan Quinn and Rebecca De Mornay and Penelope Ann Miller. The film offers up various slices of life from the late '50s and early '60s that makes for a nostalgic, romantic and very moving film. Special kudos to the filmmakers for finding a girl to play young Juli (Morgan Lily) who looks chillingly like Madeline Carroll; I would have bet anything the two were sisters. For those who are bored by the dumb-dumb summer comedies of 2010 ("The Other Guys," "Dinner for Schmucks") and the special-effects hijinks of "Inception," this is a tender and emotionally satisfying journey that will stay with you for years.
This is a coming of age film set initially and briefly in the late
1950s and mostly in the early 1960s. The boy, Bryce, is chased by his
neighbor girl, Juli. And is he chased! Juli is immediately smitten or
"flipped" by Bryce's eyes and the story unfolds.
What is unusual about the story telling is that each major event is played back twice - once through the eyes and voice of Bryce and once through the eyes and voice of Juli. It's the same scene, but you wouldn't know that from their differing viewpoints.
Juli is the adventurous and interesting one. Bryce just wants to fit in at their Junior High School. Juli slowly begins to unlike Bryce and Bryce slowly begins to appreciate Juli. Will they ever meet at the same emotional place at the same time? That is the drama and story.
The art direction and era are right on. It is the Eisenhower and Kennedy years in look, and even in feel. The wives are subordinate to the husbands. The children are mostly respectful to their parents. And the teachers teach and the students learn. But, you can see the seeds being laid for the rebellious war babies of the late 1960s.
Rob Reiner is a talented director for romances - "When Harry Met Sally." And he is a talented director for handling young actors - "Stand By Me." He combines these talents to help us understand the better part of the human condition; that is, love, respect, sacrifice, forgiveness, and honor. And we have fun and laugh along the way. This is like the TV program, "Wonder Years" - but heightened and deepened.
-Bob, a Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award Jury Member
Flipped is a one in a million film - I mean, REALLY one in a million. It's refreshing and lovely, dramatic and hilarious. It does what few films do in our time (or rather what they don't do): Flipped does not sacrifice its integrity for raunchy, gratuitous content. It's real. The emotions are real. The characters are real. And while it certainly isn't G-rated fluff (and do not be fooled - this is not a film for young children), the movie is definitely gentle and innocent in many ways. On the downside, without giving anything away, the ending of the film could have been better patched together, but overall the movie is a cinematic gem like no other. Go see Flipped!
"Flipped" is superbly directed by Rob Reiner and in my book, one of his best movies. It's a wonderfully told coming-of-age story, which I could relate to in many ways. The main two characters, Juli and Bryce, are very likable. Their parents, played by Penelope Ann Miller and Aidan Quinn, Rebecca de Mornay and Anthony Edwards, respectively, are believable in their roles, which they play excellently. I liked the fact that the story is told from two points of views, Bryce first and then Juli. If you want to see a really feel-good movie, instead of watching some dumb comedy or shoot 'em up flick, go see FLIPPED! You will not regret it.
"All I ever wanted was for Juli Baker to leave me alone."
Flipped is easily the best love story/relationship movie I've seen since (500) Days of Summer. I'm the kind of guy that you couldn't pay to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate a good movie about the highs and lows of love. In a year of formulaic, mind-numbing flicks with no imagination or heart like Letters to Juliet, Flipped is a welcome breath of fresh air.
It's about 8 or so years in the lives of two kids who meet when when one of them moves into a new neighborhood. Juli (played by Morgan Lily and Madeline Carroll) is instantly smitten by Bryce (Ryan Ketzner and Callan McAuliffe) the second she sees him drive up to his new house. Bryce, being a typical second grade boy, finds her attention embarrassing and unwanted. As they get older, that dynamic between them remains pretty much the same, but we wouldn't have a very interesting movie if that's all there was to it. Eventually Bryce finds himself on the other side of the equation (flipped, get it?), and has to win back the girl he never knew he always wanted.
How odd is it that a movie about a couple of kids handles the topic of love in a more mature and genuine way than almost all of the adult-oriented romantic comedies that we're buried under each year? There's no doubt about it that Flipped will make you say "aww" on occasion, but there's a lot more to it than just kids being cute. Humor, issues of class, family conflict, and the lost idealism of youth are introduced into the story by Bryce and Juli's respective families, and there are several outright bittersweet or poignant scenes within the story.
The movie is shown from the POV's of both main characters, and often the same event will be shown from each of their perspectives. It works really well, as it really helps the viewer to "get" both Bryce and Juli. The kids chosen to play the older versions of the two (Carroll and McAuliffe) are both great, the fact that the story is set in 50's or 60's suburbia adds a believable sense of innocence to it all, and there is just a fresh feeling to the movie that I can't really describe with words.
I heartily recommend this to anyone who likes a good, well-written movie, regardless of the genre. You can tell that a lot of heart went into making Flipped, and it shows. Great movie.
Of all the movies I've seen lately, Flipped was amongst the most
refreshing. If it had been done by a different director and had
different screenwriters, it might be a terrible cliché. Story of first
love, known each other since kids, bla bla bla, we've all heard it
But this movie, it was so pure and so realistic, which is what I love about it most. It wasn't over the top romantic, but it was enough to tug my heartstrings and made me go "awwww" instead of going "ewwww".
The characters felt like real people, and the issues faced in the story felt so real and believable, it made me believe in the basic form of love once more, and that it still existed in real life (even though I know it's just in the movies, but still).
Anyway, if you're looking for a story that is refreshing yet vintage, and wanting to have a lovey-dovey grin plastered on your face, then this is the movie to watch.
The first few minutes sent me back a decade reminding how much we
avoided girls or getting our names attached to one..
I really liked how the story showed a basic fact (mostly at least) :
"The one you love doesn't love you back, and you don't love the one that loves you!"
Though the main story is not that all can relate to, the background or the base of the story was really nice. The character development was good, not like many movies which focus on only the main characters. Though the story was a little predictable, the movie is enjoyable and among a few to which we can relate to.
This movie is definitely worth a watch.
And it deserves an 8 out of 10.
Beautifully told with all the ingredients for a good family movie. The story is told from two different views, the view from the boy and from the girl. A boy who is annoyed by all the attention he gets from the girl across the street. The girl from across the street who has a super crush on the boy tells her part of the story. The boy's father is a man filled with hatred who dispenses politically incorrect lines throughout the movie. The grandfather, the great John Mohoney, is the wise person who tells the boy to really see the girl for what she is, a very special girl. I don't want to give anything away of this jewel of a movie. I enjoyed this movie very much and totally recommend it.
Juli just had to take one look at Bryce's blue eyes, and she knew it
was true love. Bryce just had to take one notice of Juli's manic
desperation, and he knew it was going to be a friendship of torment. I
just had to take one look at the film's artfully designed poster, and I
knew "Flipped" was a film to be savoured.
A beautifully told film of first love, we flip from Juli's point of view to Bryce's point of view, very effectively giving us the true nature of their friendship, love and respect they have for each other. Except in the case of middle-school graders, that love and respect can frequently look like embarrassment, mistrust, and shame. All of those emotions are told with intelligence, subtlety and humour.
"Flipped" has all of the comedy, naiveté and bewilderment of first love. It takes the romantic comedy farther by actually giving us characters with real depth. There is more going on than just Juli and Bryce figuring out their love for each other, and every aspect of this film is well written, touching and relevant.
"Flipped" is a cute film for everybody who fondly remembers that fiercely independent girl or the guy with piercing blue eyes that lived across the street.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, let's dispense immediately with the idea that this film is geared
toward teenagers and all of their sap that they go through. I assure
you "mature adults" out there that this film will delight you also,
unless you are a completely hopelessly lost Scrooge. This film should
make sense to all ages. Everyone should identify with it. I don't care
what kind of a snob, low-life, big wig, or puritan you are, you should
enjoy this film. It's never too sappy when it deals with matters of the
heart, nor is it too blunt and insensitive.
The film is told almost entirely in a voice over of one of the two main characters. It's told in a brilliant he-said she-said style where the same scene is often told twice from the two opposite points of view (Juli's and Bryce's). So we see the opening scene twice. The first time as explained by Bryce, and the second time explained by Juli. This sort of formula is used many a time in the unfolding battle of the sexes. Of course this doesn't happen in every scenethat would get boring. Director Reiner gives us the proper dosage of everything in this film. The proper amount of comedy, romance, and the proper amount of sadness. Never is it sappy or indulgent or even presumptuous. It's a perfect film for what it's worth. The screenplay is absolutely the work of a fine craftsmanor craftsmen Andrew Scheinman and director Reiner. I don't know how long it took to write or how much blood went into it, but this film is the result of excellent work in every department. The two child stars are perfect in their roles (although Bryce could have done better), but the strength of the cast are in supporting actors. The cast is full of great actors, particularly Anthony Edwards as Bryce's arrogant, critical, smart-Aleck father, and the ever-welcome Aidan Quinn as Juli's loving, down-to-earth, tree painting father.
I wasn't completely convinced of the excellence of the film until a beautiful scene in which Mr. Baker (Quinn) and Juli go to visit Mr. Baker's mentally retarded brother Daniel, who is so happy with the world and everything in it. But this scene can't be expressed in words, you have to see it. For what it's worth, Flipped is somewhat of a deep film, full of parallels to the real world. All of the characters have the proper amount of development, even the big sycamore tree that Juli likes to sit in and watch the sunrise. Her exploits while up in that tree are so poetic and beautiful when matched up with the pictures on screen. It's a beautiful and insightful scene into the thoughts and feelings of people in general, not just a teenage girl.
In this day when films are almost all big-budget action movies with loud explosions, Flipped has explosions of its own kind. It has explosions of heart and feeling and character, all at the appropriate times. I did not find any ax to grind here. Other than the characters, plot, and screenplay, it's also a technically beautiful film. The camera captures everything so clearly with the proper color timing and excellently framed shots. After the mid-way point of the film, being surrounded by excellence, one starts to look for any reason to criticize the film. I found none. Every nuance of the film is done so genteelly and honestly, who can have a problem with it? This film achieves what movies are meant to achieve. They are meant to reach into are minds and draw us in, to entertain and to move us with fright, emotion, tears, laughs, whatever may be the subject. They are meant to create a world around us, whether in space, in the Wild West, in the future, in Bible times, or in the case of Flipped in 1960s suburbia. This film does exactly what it is meant to do. To touch and make us laugh and to remember. That's what it does. It makes us remember what happened or is happening to us. No one can give this a bad review. I don't see how anyone can pick a fight with the film. But I'm blabbing about nothing.
In short, Flipped is by far the best film I've seen this year. I do hope the Academy doesn't overlook this like they do so many other "family" films. It should at least get a few nominations, if not a win. We'll see what happens. It's only July.
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