Back in the '80's and early '90's, Rob Reiner was at the top of the game. The cherubic albeit bearded man has given audiences many beloved classics, including This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men and Stand By Me. Aside from 2007's The Bucket List, though, he hasn't done much in the last 15 years. Enter Flipped.
Flipped is a movie that harkens back to the days of old, when pictures could be more innocent and still deliver the goods. It's 2010's version of Stand By Me, but looks and feels like it was filmed 20 years ago. This isn't a bad thing.
Flipped is about a boy named Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) and Juli (Madeline Carroll), who grow up as numbers. Juli, even as a little girl, is immediately attracted to Bryce, while Bryce... is like most little boys and detests her for many years. When he does finally realize he likes her, he must overcome societal pressures to win her over.
The movie has a unique format, spanning approximately 10 years of their lives and alternating between their perspectives. For instance, we see Bryce's reactions and hear his thoughts to his first introduction to Juli - viewing her as a creepy and obnoxious girl who follows him around - and then switch to her account of the meeting, where she believes he clearly liked her but was just too shy to say anything.
Flipped dabbles in the age-old lesson of "things aren't always what they seem." Juli's family is viewed as white trash among the neighbors, especially Bryce's dad (played by Dr. Green and Goose himself, Anthony Edwards!). Those opinions negatively influence and confuse Bryce's feelings.
The movie is cute and harmless, a valiant effort to do something different among the type of movies that are released these days. It does seem like it's torn from the '80's, which might explained why no one went and saw it in theaters, but that is exactly the reason people will find something to like.
There is nothing groundbreaking about Flipped, nothing that will keep it from being forgotten in a year's time, but for what it is, it is an entertaining little film that will appeal to kids and adults alike. It's not a classic like Stand By Me, but it has its funny and heartwarming moments nonetheless.
Flipped is a worthwhile little movie - and it is a "little" movie in many ways - that the whole family can enjoy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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