Plot:. A group of friends meet up for their ten year high school reunion. Cliches endure.
Review: So I really thought that with about two weeks left Man with the Iron Fists was going to go down as the worst movie of the year. But damn, if Ten Years didn’t come in to show me how bad, bad can be. There is just nothing good about this film so let’s dig right in. I am going to talk about each individual story and then we’ll look at the overall film. The main story is about Channing Tatum and Rosario Dawson, old flames with a bad history, as they try to overcome that now that they are in separate happy relationships. This story comes off as really boring since once it really starts you know where it is going (although most of the film feels like that.) Tatum tries to do what he can but his character has nothing and most of his characterization comes from what others say about them. Even if it is the main story it is also the most boring and has a sappy nonsense ending. Second story is about Justin Long and Max Minghella, two nerds that became cool. Max is married and Long is a playboy now, but are both trying to get Lilly Collins into bed as she was the party girl. This story is one of the main problems with the film, Max Minghella comes off as unlikable. As Justin Long tries to hit on Collins, Minghella keeps getting in the way. At first it seems that he is still awkward but you soon realize that he is also trying to flirt with her. Even though he is married, at every chance he makes a pass at her and it feels very uncomfortable especially since both treat her like nothing more than a conquest. By the end, we find out that he is in the midst of a divorce but that doesn’t really excuse his behavior and I wonder why the reveal was withheld. If we had known he was acting out because of his depression maybe we would have felt sympathetic but as it is we just hate him so when the reveal does come out we don’t care. Their whole story is to examine the lies that we show to others as none of them are as cool as they portrayed. Collins is a stay-at-home mom, Long lives in a tiny apartment just to stay in New York, and Minghella is going through the divorce. It works in the most shallow way but the male characters come off as such jerks that you can’t relate to them. The next story is about Chris Pratt, the high school bully, as he tries to make amends with the people he tortured, while getting as drunk as possible much to the dismay of his wife, Ari Graynor. This is the best story, only because it takes into account the reunion. Every other story is about a close group of friends meeting again and it could have been anywhere. But the bully trying to apologize to the nerds could only happen at the reunion as why else would they hang out. It also has a character with flaws unlike the rest of them who are perfect. The problem is Pratt comes off as so unlikeable and so annoying that his act gets very tired, very fast. For every apology he dishes out, there are 3 scenes of him embarrassing his wife or being an ass. It gets old and by the end, he doesn’t change. The film seemed to be going towards acceptance that he is just a dick and can’t help it but by the end there is just nothing and we are meant to take away that he tried. Which is fine if he had been fighting the apologies the whole time, but he embraced him. So there is no change or at least no revelation. There relationship ends the way it began and it is not satisfying. The last and most annoying story is about Jason Isaac and kate Mara. Isaac plays a famous singer who tries to win over the heart of the shy girl. The main problem is Isaacs who the whole movie hates the fact that he is rich and famous and it is DREADFUL. The whole time he wants us to feel bad for how rich he is, how many people love his song, how famous he is BUT THEN, but then when given the chance to sing his song, he jumps at it or when Mara states she never heard it is disappointed. He can either be mad at the fame or embrace but the film wants us to love him for not wanting it while also cheering for him when he does. And it never works. Plus Isaac is not a terribly good actor so the whole time I thought he was being shady. I never for a minute thought he was supposed to be sincere and was waiting for the twist. Once I realized that it was more Isaac’s acting that is questionable and not his character the story just became boring. Mara has no chemistry with him and she looks quite bored the whole time. She is a fantastic actress and I wonder why she keeps getting these terrible roles. But that brings us to the film as a whole. These characters never feel like friends. They spend so much of the movie going after their own motives, their own goals that they never spend any time with each other so they don’t feel like the family they keep claiming they are. Scott Porter ends up with the best story as someone who is moving to Japan and just wants to have fun with his friend. Only because he has no other motives, it’s just one last fun time with his friends. Every one else only has fun at the expense of others. Pratt has fun so his wife can’t, Mingella tries to screw over Justin Long, Isaacs completely ignores his friends to spend time with Mara. It seems no one is there to be AT THE REUNION. It brings the whole film down and you start to feel sad for these perfect looking characters which negates the whole thing. I think this is the rare time when they should have just focused on one story. As it is, the cliches in EVERY story add up to such a point that the more another story has them, the more clear they become. Where if it was just one story, it would have been less noticeable if not forgivable. but as it is it becomes so clear that none of the stories have the tiniest bit of originality that you start to focus on whether the actor read the script. To ruin such a great and diverse cast is a crime of cinema! The director needs to go back to school.
Trivia: Jamie Lindon wrote this after his own reunion. Which leads me to believe that he is the Isaac’s character. Which makes me hate him.