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It takes place in 1986 in the days before the Challenger Shuttle blew up, but the themes of heroism and unexpected tragedy play out in subtle and clever ways. I think the critics who didn't like this movie are used to following very well paved roads with well defined markers. This movie follows its characters first to last and that can make it bumpy and twisty and ultimately, so much better. And because the characters are so three dimensional, the markers which we expect only come if the characters lead us there. They do in the end. The director lands us where we need to be. But along the way, we are on ground which is just as unsettled as the characters who turn to ridiculous methods to lessen the pain of losing someone they loved in their lives. If you're willing to walk this unsettled ground, it's well worth the ride. The performances are outstanding, especially Steve Coogan and Olivia Thirlby. If, on the other hand, you need to be spoon-fed or for your plots to be singular and instantly identifiable, you will probably hate it. You kind of have to give in to it and then the doors open and the characters and the overall tone of the film resonates. It WILL make you laugh and cry.
I saw this at a promotional screening.Read more ›
For me, some of the supporting cast members particularly stood out, especially Max Hoffman (Dustin's son) as Fenster and "twins" Ingrid Nilson and Andrea Brooks. These are real people. Nilson especially was just dynamite, and I found myself wishing that there would have been time to explore these characters a bit deeper.
I think the writers did a fine job with this story and the concept of what makes a hero or maybe whether all of our heroes really aren't heroic after all. There were a few places that could have been tighter, but this film was never meant to be perfect, and for that I am glad. Kudos to Jonathan Glatzer on a uniquely different film. I love it.
The time frame is January 1986 and Campbell Babbitt (the last name is well chosen as a reference to Sinclair Lewis' novel 'Babbitt' - a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity) played by Steve Coogan is a reporter for New York World, writing a series about a woman who became a 'hero' by turning the anguish of seeing her son murdered in to acts of civil service (the woman whom Babbitt has grown to love commits suicide, and out of cherishing her memory he continues to write stories as though she were still alive - an act that Babbitt's editor Donna (Molly Price) finds ridiculous and sends Babbitt of to New Hampshire to cool off and to over the upcoming Space Shuttle Challenger).
Babbitt arrives in a little town in new Hampshire (the town is preparing to celebrate the Shutttle launch as Christa McAuliffe was raised there) to discover that his old friend Sam who was planning to become a priest but opted for teaching had a class of 'problem kids' who adored him. Babbitt discovers Sam's body in the street. The class of odd kids mourn Sam's passing: he was their hero.Read more ›
Duff did okay in her role as the jailbait character, but really it was the other actors who made the film come together. Although Steve Coogan was excellent, the MVPs of the film might actually have been Sarah Lind (as Peggy Popoladopolous) and Olivia Thirlby (as Tess). One of the most humorous moments I've ever seen in a film occurred with Sarah Lind's character Peggy when she is dropped into a very compromising situation thanks to the half-witted but forgivable character Fenster (played by Max Hoffman aka Woody Focker in Meet the Fockers).
Whatever your level of experience as a film aficionado, you've probably not seen anything quite like this one. (👍≖‿‿≖)👍
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Hilary Duff n I love how she"s making movies about suicides n just basically darker movies may be she"ll have a Horror movie someday . Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jade West ScissorLuv
I liked this film, but it probably isn't for everybody. There are a lot of little sub stories that might confuse some watchers and although it is rated R, I have seen much worse... Read morePublished 20 months ago by dhart
A differnt type of movie for Hilary Duff but her along with the actors had great performaces in this movie. I found it enjoyable, and fun to watch.Published on April 19, 2013 by Robert Hicks
The title of my review might make it seem as though I was somewhat anxious for the end of the movie to arrive. In some ways, that is true. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Tracy Wythe
Ever watch a movie and feel that there was a good movie in there somewhere and they just missed it? This is one of those... Can't blame Coogan or Duff or Thirlby though... Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by joebuzz1
Honestly this should have re-edited and made into satire - it really has all the hallmarks. Kooky isn't comedy if you're just baffled, and we were. Read morePublished on May 31, 2010 by KAM
Muted and never moving, instead finding no insight while dragging its feet along a variety of forced quirks. Read morePublished on May 20, 2010 by Kody
don't get up from your seat or you'll be confused!after it's over then the whole movie makes sense!way to go Hilary duff great acting!Published on July 13, 2009 by terry e.chandler,jr.
I think that its really funny that some reviewers for this film are so offended by the people who didn't "get it" and accuse them of wanting to be "spoon fed". Read morePublished on June 22, 2009 by Nina