Eldest son Ward Jansen is a star reporter for a Miami newspaper and has returned home with close friend Yardley to investigate a racial murder case. Younger brother Jack Jansen has returned home after a failed stint at university as a star swimmer. To help give his life some direction, Ward gives Jack a job on their investigation as their driver. But into the mix comes the fiancée of the imprisoned convict who stirs up confusing feelings of love and lust for the young Jack. Meanwhile, Ward and Yardley's investigation stirs up deep-rooted issues of race and acceptance which could cause serious consequences for everyone involved.Written by
After the emotional kick in the gut with Precious, one may go into The Paperboy anticipating something of a roller coaster ride from Lee Daniels and the talented cast, but The Paperboy isn't Precious by any means. The quality of the film itself is so crummy, it's a wonder this high profile cast was attracted to it. Through all the cheesy and trashy aspects of the film, The Paperboy at least pushes the boundaries of what we expect and creates some shocking scenes in its plot.
The screenplay does have a fairly intriguing plot, it's bites off a lot of issues to talk about, but never fully realizes any of them. Sometimes the "issues" are so thin, they slide right by the viewer. The most fun for the viewer is to watch the interaction between Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman's characters. It's an usual romantic relationship. Everything unusual is what The Paperboy has going for its screenplay. The script does develop the characters fairly well, some of the characters more than others.
The acting is the saving grace of The Paperboy and is what makes it watchable. Though John Cusack doesn't convince us in his juicy role, the rest of the cast is good. Zac Efron is decent in his protagonist role, Matthew McConaughey does fairly good work, but the true star is Nicole Kidman. It's a role that requires a lot of courage. The actress who had to play Charlotte would had to embarrass herself completely; Kidman owns that and brings the character out through those humiliating moments.
Lee Daniels is the man who screwed the project up. It was never destined to be a groundbreaking film, but Daniels holds it back from being at least decent as a movie. It becomes campy, has stereotypical racism, and messy scenes drowning in disarray. The narrative isn't strong enough to overcome Daniels's misdirection, even with the cast trying their best.
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