Mona is nearly overwhelmed by grief and depression. After her father's death, she's cut herself off: leaving teaching - she now temps as an office assistant, ignoring her mother's calls, ... See full summary »

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Mona is nearly overwhelmed by grief and depression. After her father's death, she's cut herself off: leaving teaching - she now temps as an office assistant, ignoring her mother's calls, talking to herself in mirrors, and rejecting any offered intimacy. She's watched over by comic extraterrestrial beings whom we see as cartoon squiggles. They ensure that random acts bring her connections - with a neighbor boy, his mother, and his surreptitious piano teacher (the lad wants to surprise his mom). She also meets an elevator operator in the building where she temps for Ms. Hadaway, a widow with perfect diction. Can Mona take a few steps on the road to expressing emotion? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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28 January 2009 (USA)  »

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Cute animation spoiled by a flimsy story
6 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Animation and live action combined. The animation is generally good. The live action is competently done. Unfortunately the whole is spoiled by a poorly conceived story.

I cannot make a lot of sense of the story. It involves a young woman who loses her wallet which is recovered by a kid who takes secret lessons from a piano teacher who crosses path with the kid's mother and love is in the air. Concurrently the young woman gets a temporary job cataloguing notes for a woman who lives in a building with a warehouse-like manned elevator. The elevator man gets a fix on the young woman and meets her at a singing bar where he plays guitar. I suppose it ends with everyone living happily ever after.

I held for an excruciating seventy minutes hoping the story would get somewhere interesting. I gave up, defeated by the childish tenor of the narrative, the uninspiring surrealism, the flimsy narrative connection between animation and live action and, principally, the poorly conceived screenplay.

Part of the problem is that the audience for this film is ill-defined. Children may enjoy the animation bits but not a lot more. Teenagers are out of the question. Adults may be bored by the narrative that drives the animated characters.

It's too bad this is a flop for there is talent here. Clearly good technique and imagination are on display when it comes to animation.

The title's reversal of the traditional children's game may be clever, but the forced justification, done through a flashback, is an annoying contrivance.


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