When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Light but Entertaining, it Feels Insignificant Compared to its Lofty Forebearer
A loose prequel of sorts for the criminal players of Jackie Brown, based on Elmore Leonard's novel The Switch. It's not Jackie, no two ways about it, and it's unfair to compare the two... unfair, but inevitable since they're so spiritually related. The stakes are much lower this time, with a simple kidnapping plot the main point of action and few of the deliciously tangled interwoven story lines of the Tarantino flick. In Leonard's hands that still made for a wildly entertaining read, but on the screen it feels a bit on the shallow side. This translation is missing the charm and finesse of its source material, too, and a little of that spice can really go a long way. John Hawkes manages a really convincing, greasy De Niro impression as the soft-hearted enforcer Louis, while Mos Def's take on mastermind Ordell Robbie (originally played by Samuel L. Jackson) is less indebted to his predecessor. Jennifer Aniston is good as the repressed trophy wife / tennis mom / kidnappee, but the rest of the cast just seems like they're wearing costumes and playing games. They take themselves lightly, so it's tough for me to see the situation as all that serious. It's fine, superficial at worst, but there's little wonder why it slipped under the radar without a whimper when it hit the screens a couple of years ago.
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