Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 Years

The high-school-reunion comedy "10 Years" got lost in the shuffle of new releases this weekend, which is a shame. It's an audacious amount of fun, about as good as a movie of its aspirations could be. Sure, some of the cast are old enough that maybe it should have been called "15 Years" (there are a few Gabrielle-Carteris-on-"90210" moments), but you'll be too caught up in its combination of sharp dialogue and sweet nostalgia to mind.

Director Jamie Linden distributes the screen time just right among the characters: the sexy boyfriend (Channing Tatum) who's been waiting eight months to propose; his married ex-girlfriend (Rosario Dawson), whom he hasn't seen in years (until tonight); the geeks, one (Justin Long) living large in NYC, the other (Max Minghella) his self-proclaimed wingman as he pursues the class hottie (Lynn Collins); the ex-bully (Chris Pratt), intent on apologizing to his nerdy prey, whose wife (Ari Graynor) watches as his alcohol-fueled atonement veers off-course; the happy expat and his Japanese wife, whose name everyone mangles; the recording star (Oscar Isaac) whose megahit is on the bar's karaoke playlist and just might have been written about his secret high school crush (Kate Mara); the group's one black friend (Anthony Mackie of 2010's top-ten "Night Catches Us") and the David Silver of the group (Brian Geraghty, not Brian Austin Green).

I don't know whether it's blind luck or she just has a keen eye for scripts, but the presence of Rosario Dawson in a movie frequently indicates ("Sidewalks of New York," "Unstoppable") it's going to be a lot better than it has any right to be. The camera absolutely loves Kate Mara; she's absurdly fetching here. And while some stretches are stronger than others, there are half a dozen really big laughs, the kind where you find yourself still laughing fifteen or twenty seconds after everyone else. It's a fun feeling. I'm telling you, this movie made Justin Long bearable (three stars may be stingy). Don't let "10 Years" pass you by.

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