10 Items or Less movie poster
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10 Items or Less movie poster

10 Items or Less Movie Review

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Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega star in the cute, almost-romantic comedy 10 Items or Less, a movie about an actor prepping for a role who befriends a fierce grocery clerk.

Freeman plays "Him", which essentially means he is playing himself, a well-known and popular actor who has entered small-town America to research a potentially new role. What the role is exactly we're not quite sure, but it probably has something to do with working in a grocery store, as he finds a small, rather depressing store to research. There, he finds a senile manager, a white trash clerk, rather dull customers and one extremely beautiful, tough and hard-working Mexican-American clerk named Scarlet (Vega). As he studies her, the two quickly form a bond, and he sets out to prepare her for a job interview later in the day.

10 Items or Less is a unique and slightly quirky movie, that doesn't really have much of a plot but is effective nonetheless. Freeman seems to be having a lot of fun with the role, as he gets to act both as a wise mentor and as a child discovering new things for the first time (like Target and T-shirts that cost less than $10.00). Vega at all times is both fierce and fragile, which adds to her charm and what also adds to the intrigue between the two characters. It is never quite clear if Freeman's intentions with Vega are purely plutonic or something more - after all, Vega is Vega, and there are certainly uglier women out there to befriend. 10 Items or Less is sort of a like a one-day romantic comedy, only without the romance... sort of.

The small-budget film from director Brad Silberling is quite a change of pace from his previous efforts, which are all quite slick and graphically intriguing (Lemony Snicket and Casper, to name a few). 10 Items or Less is shot primarily on a grainy hand-held camera, and the movie feels very raw. This adds to the appeal, after all, as the movie is trying to feel as real as it can be. Silberling, overall, has created a good little film.

10 Items or Less is a pretty harmless, lightweight drama-comedy, but it works thanks to the two main actors and a basic story that allows them to play off one another. This is a cute little film that will quickly be forgotten, but is worth watching while it is still in your memory banks.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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