I feel like I must be desperate in my search for a decent romantic comedy, that a movie as potentially horrible as 10 Years qualifies as a good movie in my book. In all seriousness, I wanted to hate this movie. It stars a chubby Channing Tatum (i.e., not a Magic Mike Channing Tatum), his wife, and a plethora of actors who look really familiar, but you just can’t quite remember what you’ve seen them in before. Somehow, I got sucked into the terribly predictable plot and gave in to the so-so main characters. Still, before you judge me, you should understand that the movie had some surprisingly wonderful moments, and some decent character development and acting talent (aside from the “star” of the movie).
The entire movie takes place on the day of a group of friends’ high school reunion. What they expect is some awkward moments, a good time, and a lot of catching up with old friends. What they don’t expect is how some things have changed a lot, and some things haven’t really changed at all.
For Sam (Ari Graynor) and Cully (Chris Pratt), life with two kids is great, but a night off is even better. Cully’s eagerness to redeem himself from his bully reputation in high school is tainted by his overzealous drunken behavior.
Best friends A.J. (Max Minghella) and Marty (Justin Long) are excited for a guy’s night out. The married A.J. vows to be Marty’s wingman, but falters when high school crush Anna (Lynn Collins) shows up, sexier than ever.
When you’re a rock star like Reeves (Oscar Isaac), everybody knows your name. So, when he spends his time at the reunion with relative nobody Elise (Kate Mara), a few eyebrows are raised.
For Gerrity (Brian Geraghty), high school was a completely different time. He hung out with a different crowd and acted like a completely different person. Such was a shock for his wife Olivia (Aubrey Plaza), when she learned of his somewhat…alternate lifestyle.
Jake (Channing Tatum) is in a great relationship with his gorgeous girlfriend (Jenna Dewan-Tatum). Still, that doesn’t stop him from thinking about what might have happened, had he and his ex Mary (Rosario Dawson) never broken up.
Scott (Scott Porter) seems to have the most realistic take on his experiences, and that is: while high school was great, while all the experiences he’s had so far in his life were great, that’s just it…they were. He finds that living in the past is unproductive, and that it’s not sad to move forward, it’s exciting and crazy to think about.
It’s a little difficult to get into the details without being either confusing or giving away the best parts of the movie (or both). But, what I can share is a bit about the acting.
The actors in this movie are great as an ensemble cast. Constantly, they pull from one another’s energy, and they utilize this to give the somewhat dull plot a little oomph. I feel as though each pairing of “couples” were incredibly well-casted. It was interesting to see Ari Graynor in the role of doting mother and wife, and her spunk showed through as the movie went on. Her on-screen husband, Chris Pratt, was the perfect match, as he met her energy level in every way. My favorite pairing was Oscar Issac and Kate Mara, who produced a highly addicting tango that you couldn’t dare to turn your eyes away from. Kate Mara is gorgeous, and her reserved personality is somehow electric.
What was surprisingly the biggest letdown of the movie was Channing Tatum’s performance, which I am really not surprised about. When not a piece of beefcake for the ladies to drool at, all that’s left is a a bland, boring, so-so actor. And, really…you couldn’t find someone else to play your girlfriend besides your wife?
I will not promise that anyone will enjoy this movie as much as I did, but the rest of the audience seemed to get a kick out of the same things. I think that the people who will most appreciate this movie are, like me, the people who realize that high school has passed us, and that we grow up (hopefully), and move on with the rest of our lives.
10 Years – 7/10