I know what you're thinking. "Why is Ashlyn watching a movie about love? I thought she only liked movies where stuff blows up and/or the world is ending?" Well, this little slice of life story based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen is so refreshing, mature, and playful all at once that I couldn't stop watching (or reading). Reiner does as much justice to the source material as he did with Princess Bride (which I still say was better than the book), and the young actors are all fantastic in their roles.
Flipped is the story of Juli Baker and Bryce Loski- two children who meet when Bryce moves in next door to Juli right before second grade begins. Juli is immediately smitten, and Bryce is just as quickly made uncomfortable and annoyed by her attention. Bryce isn't particularly nice to Juli, and eventually, in junior high, she realizes that maybe he's just not the guy she first thought he was...just as Bryce starts looking at Juli in an entirely new light, and wondering what exactly his problem was all those previous years. The narrative also flips back and forth between Juli and Bryce, so we get to see many of their interactions from both perspectives. This is also one of the best uses of voice overs I have ever experienced, and I'm thinking some film students should be required to watch.
Somehow, this love story between a couple of kids, set against a backdrop of 1960s nostalgia (although the book seems to be set in the 2000s), class and family issues, peer pressure, and youthful idealism, is more realistic and full of genuine emotion than just about any big budget releases in the last decade.
This film is appropriate for all ages, and there's something to connect with for everybody. This one's a winner!
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