<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 19, 2010

The Rebound

We’ve been a fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones ever since we saw her in “The Mask of Zorro” in 1998, followed by “Entrapment” with Sean Connery in 1999. We have since seen all her films from “The Haunting,” “Traffic,” “America’s Sweetheart” to “Chicago” (where she won an Oscar), “No Reservations” and the little-seen but worth watching “Death Defying Acts” with Guy Pearce. Her beauty alone is enough for anyone to see her latest movie, “The Rebound,” a romantic comedy about an older woman having an affair with a much younger guy.

As Sandy, she plays a 40-year-old suburban mom (that’s her real age, by the way, since she was born in September of 1969) who dumps her husband, Frank (Sam Robards), when she discovers that he cheats on her and is having an affair. She decides to leave their place, start all over again, and transfer to New York City with their two precocious kids, Frank Jr. (played by twins Andrew and Jake Cherry) and Sadie (Kelly Gould). She finds a new career in a TV sports network.

As a single mother enjoying independence, she gets an apartment on top of a funky cafe where she meets Aram Finkelstein (Justin Bartha, the sidekick of Nicolas Cage in “National Treasure” and was also in “The Hangover”), 25 years old, college-educated but aimless, and newly divorced from his French ex-wife, Alice (Stefanie Szostak). Their first encounter is, as usually common in rom-coms like this, very funny. They meet again in a self-defense class where Aram is employed as the class punching bag during their exercises. Sandy concludes that Aram is harmless and asks him to baby sit her kids while goes on a date with an unsanitary chiropractor (John Schneider).

Adam is likeable enough, her kids like him and Aram seems to enjoy being with them also, so she hires him as their full time nanny. She realizes that most men don’t meet her standards and she is instead drawn to Aram. But is their love affair the real thing or is it just a case of love on the rebound?

The first part of the movie employs a lot of low brow comedy, showing a little boy peeing on a homeless man in Manhattan and one character throwing up on another character. Sandy’s chiropractor date is also shown suddenly answering the call of nature in a portable toilet on the street where he hears him farting as he poohs. He is later keeps on touching her food while they’re having dinner, and she’s such a cleanliness-freak with a phobia on germs, so it’s a big horror for her seeing his dirty hands doing this on her food. One of the kids sees her having sex and later asks if the man is urinating on his mom. There’s also a pervert who flashes his thing to the kids.

The crass kind of humor employed in the first part is thankfully discarded as the love story on this so-called cougar couple goes on. There’s also some limp opposition on the part of Aram’s uppity parents (Joanna Gleeson and Art Garfunkel) and there’s also an encounter with Sandy’s jealous ex-hubby. But the story focuses more on the problems one might encounter when the romance is between a wiser and more successful woman and a younger man whose level of maturity is still wanting. Yes, he’s good to her and her children, but will it really be a fully satisfying relationship for her when she also has to care for him financially and emotionally?
If you’ve seen the movie, “Prime” (2005, with Uma Thurman also having a love affair with a younger man, Bryan Greenberg, also set in New York) and “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003, with Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves), then you’d see how romantic films of this sort goes. The issue of age difference threatens the love affair but before issues get really complicated, writer-director Bart Freundlich manages to iron out the conflicts away to make it a breezier crowd-pleasing story with the obligatory feel good ending that will make Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher happy.

Both Catherine and Justin have easygoing screen persona and handle their respective roles quite effectively, with Catherine as charming and alluring as ever so it’s not all surprising that a younger guy would get easily attracted to her in a May-August affair. Although Justin is a nice and sensitive New Age fellow, you still get the feeling that she deserves somebody better. (How lucky Michael Douglas is in real life.)