During my latest weekend staycation in Karawang last Saturday (more on that in my wife's blog), I was waiting for our dinner time at 6PM and stumbled into this movie playing in HBO Hits. I was not really interested to see this one at first but since there was no other movies that I have not seen at that time, and seeing the start which seemed funny, I continued watching this till finished. So what was the movie about? Let us get on to it, shall we?
Brief Story Line
It was the year 1957 when a very young Juli Baker met with her neighbor Bryce Loski for the first time. She immediately "fell in love" to Bryce. Few years later, Juli who was now already in the 8th grade (Madeline Carroll - The Spy Next Door, Machine Gun Preacher etc) was still having a major crush on Bryce, but Bryce (Callan McAuliffe - Hacker, I am Number Four etc) was always trying to avoid her. He felt that Juli was a bit too pushy and he also shared this with his best friend Garret (Israel Broussard).
Juli was the youngest daughter of Richard (Aidan Quinn - Legends of the Fall, Elementary TV series etc) and Trina (Penelope Ann Miller - Kindergarten Cop, Carlito's Way etc) with older brothers Matt and Mark. Juli also had an uncle named Daniel (played wonderfully by Kevin Weisman - Alias TV series). They were having financial difficulties due to some reasons which would be revealed later. But despite her condition, Juli was always happy with her life which was confusing to Bryce.
Meanwhile Bryce was from a family with much better financial condition. Her parents were Steven (Anthony Edwards - Gotcha!, ER TV series etc) and Patsy (Rebecca De Mornay - Backdraft, The Three Musketeers etc) with an older sister Lynetta (Cody Horn). Bryce's grandfather named Chet (John Mahoney - Frasier TV series) started to live at their house from 1963, but he was not much of a talker to Bryce. Which is why it really bothered Bryce when Chet prefer to spend more time with Juli.
The story would be revolving around the on and off relationship between Juli and Bryce as the main focus, with the Loski and Baker family relationships as the additional supporting stories. You can watch the whole movie to see how the story continues.
End of Brief Story Line
I am actually more of a action/sci-fi/mystery kind of guy so I usually watch drama movies only when I am intrigued or it was a very famous or wonderful or critically successful movies. But this movie was very interesting not only because it started kind of funny, but it was told from 2 separate point of views. It was narrated by Juli in the background for around 5-15 minutes from her perspective, then it shifted to story narrated by Bryce in the background about the same occurrence but from his point of view. Then it moved on to next story also narrated two times from Juli's perspective continued with Bryce's perspective. Until in the end their story combined together in a very nice way.
I have to say that this was a bit of a unique way of story telling which was called a he-said-she-said narrative style. It was based on a successful novel titled the same name written by Wendelin Van Draanen. I truly enjoyed this narrative style and also felt the movie was a lovely one. It was also told in the 1960s era where life was still simple then, with no internet or social media at all. It reminded me of a very successful coming of age TV series titled The Wonder Years with Fred Savage as the main character and won numerous Emmy awards. Some of the songs in the movie also were the good oldies that were nice to listen to, especially the end credit song Let it be Me by Phil Everly.
This movie was directed by Rob Reiner who was famous for directing some good quality movies such as Stand by Me, When Harry Met Sally..., A Few Good Men, Misery and so on. However, this movie did poorly in the box office and considered a flop at the time it played in theaters in 2010 (yes this is a 2010 movie, it is not the latest movie playing in theater). It was a pity though as I think it was one of the good movies which should have been enjoyable. It was a romantic movie, good for couples and I think good for young adults as well. The story was not too simple and it was rather deep with some of the various matters Juli and Bryce had to encounter. Another interesting factor was the fact that this movie had got various stars that were quite successful in their era, such as Anthony Edwards, Aidan Quinn, Rebecca De Mornay and Penelope Ann Miller. I also felt that Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe made a cute couple and their portrayal of attracted boy and girl with nothing in common were very good.
For me personally, I think it was a lovely movie with some touching moments and deserved more credit than the low ratings it received. I would recommend you give this one a try and watch it as it is still playing in cable TV (based on this week's schedule in HBO Hits, it is still going to play for another week or so). I am pretty sure that it is also available through live streaming and should not be too difficult to look it up.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars