There are movies that portray a slice of life. Movies that show us a certain part of one’s lifetime. Such a film is director/writer Jaime Linden’s “10 Years”. It is a film built on one evening, one high school reunion that brings about the details of the who we were, where our journey brought us, and who we are now. Sometimes, people change, and sometimes situations change, but then sometimes, there are those who don’t change.
The film begins with Jake and his girlfriend, Jess (Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum) arriving at a friend’s house, married couple Cully and Sam (Chris Pratt and Ari Graynor). There, the two are joined by more friends in high school, Marty and AJ (Justin Long and Max Minghella), a now semi-famous musician, Reeves (Oscar Isaac) and Scott and his wife, Suki (Scott Porter and Eiko Nijo). The group drives to the venue of their high school reunion, where they meet up with old acquaintances such as high school shy girl, Elise (Kate Mara), the most popular girl in high school, Anna (Lynn Collins), the event organizer, Julie (Kelly Noonan), Jake’s old flame, Mary (Rosario Dawson) and close buds Andre (Anthony Mackie) and Garrity (Brian Geraghty) with his wife (Aubrey Plaza). Things really pick up even more after the gang goes to an old hang out. Some things never do change while some things are worth looking back to, only to move forward.
I do have to admit that the film has a ridiculously insane amount of characters. It would be easy to say that it became an effort to keep track of everything that was going on. But the screenplay knew exactly where to go, it manages to keep things close to the ground, and with the direction, it manages to emulate the actual feeling of what goes on in a gathering. Linden’s careful hand in the direction avoids paying too much attention to certain key characters, albeit there are those that just stood up, and manages to keep the film’s flow natural and easy to follow.
It is all about reunions and the script keeps it focus on its premise. It is all about knowing what was before, appreciating what was, and trying to move on or maybe build on what was before. “10 Years” is a film that moves around with more subplots than what an actual core point. I found the way the script moved around its less than compelling areas to be amusing and sometimes, odd (in the case of Cully and Garrity). They were simple things that made an impact in the narrative and yet, not so much as to draw the fire away from the film’s main premise of moving on. Some areas felt like ‘fillers’ while some certainly carried more punch than the other stories.
I do have to say that I found myself more immersed into the Elise-Reeves dynamic than I expected. The chemistry between Isaac and Mara just almost stole the show. It was touching, uplifting and sometimes heart-breaking. It is about getting ‘smart’ and about trying to catch up. The Anna-AJ-Marty dynamic felt more like a filler in the beginning, but it became one of the film’s best points in the screenplay. The Dawson-Tatum connection had a lot of heart, and the two were good in their roles, their last scene together also became one of the film’s best highlights.
“10 Years” is a piece of life. It may appear to be non-essential at first look, but it does have a good message to bring its viewers. Yes, it is built on formula, characters that we’ve all seen before, but really, what part of high school reunion isn’t? The film manages to charm because of its sincerity. It is the kind of movie that definitely had its good intentions. While I cannot say that it is essential to one’s collection, it is worth a watch, at least once. [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars] Special thanks for the free copy to write a review.
Ten years after graduating high school the alums return for their ten year reunion. Tatum Channing is the main character of the group and he goes with his girlfriend, with the hopes of seeing his old high school sweetheart (Rosario Dawson). Channing keeps an engagement ring in an envelope of his car waiting for the right moment to spring it on his girlfriend. The rest of the alums are the most boring group led by an obnoxious ex-bully, who tries in very "uncomfortable' … more
Star Rating: Because I was homeschooled my senior year of high school, reunions have not been and never will be in the cards for me. Does this leave me ill prepared to review 10 Years, an ensemble comedy/drama set, as the title suggests, during a ten-year high school reunion? To an extent, I suppose it does; the experience of stepping back onto academic soil and being in the same space as former friends/enemies/acquaintances/teachers/crushes is unknown to me. … more