Plays too much on the sentiment and lacks a sense of genuine character and warmth
In the wake of his Grandmother's death, Kevin goes to stay with his Grandfather for the summer. While there he meets a girl he likes, and looks to his Grandfather to help him out.
Grandpa Arnold is a lovely film, and it tells you this from the start to the finish – it is lovely. It has a lovely narrative, lovely characters, non-threatening lovely humor, and lovely outdoor scenery. It is lovely. The problem is that it plays so very much to this that it doesn't do much else. It is a bit frustrating because there is this certain charm that it has, and an edge of realism, but throughout it always takes the chance to head towards being a bit sentimental and sweet. This constant nudging by the music and by dialogue, undermines the film's aspects which are more genuine, and offer more of a real emotional connection as opposed to a designed one.
It is a shame because the performances are good, and generally the film is well made, but the writing starts this nudging towards sentiment, and the construction of the film as a whole completes it. It still works nicely for what it does, but it is a film that is "okay", but always feels like it is totally fine being that and not reaching for more.
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