Review: 6.5 out of 10 stars.
Whoever has said it’s like a Nicholas Sparks novel, no it is not. Because this is like a mystery romance paperback on the newsstand at a local supermarket. Yeah it’s that cheesy. It’s so stupid as how Adele (Winslet) with a 7th grade son, Frank (Griffith), would so quickly allowed a fugitive (Brolin) who has no weapons, yet was able to “force” them to take him with them, and then they both fall in love with him, all happened in the 5 days during the Labor Day weekend.
No matter how much Adele was in fear / resentment about her ex leaving her, there’s no justification to simply fall for someone because she was caught off guard. The movie showed how most people knew her, and how connected the community is, as well as how men seemed to be interested in her but she’s distant. No matter how well acting of the 2 adults try to be, the plot was just too ridiculous to be true. That could only happen in a fiction, and should stay as 1 because when it’s put on the big silver screen, it just looks stupid. The audience flat out laughed or shook their heads at much of its ridicule.
The pace of the movie was really slow. For a movie that is 1 hour 51 mins portraying 5 days, the director decided to spend a good 5 minutes in the beginning simply showing Adele driving. You can’t blame the audience to look at the watch and wonder where that is going.
To savage the from a disastrous plot, the cinematography was beautiful. It portrays well of a lazy and slow paced community where you don’t see much of the traffic nor neighbors. No kids running around.
The chemistry was not quite there though you can tell they tried really hard. But hey, the Titanic girl did a pose like she posed for Jack, the side leaning pose.
Tobey Maguire (adult Henry) had a cameo being the grown up son. It’s weird because he had so few scenes. Same as Dylan Minnette (high school Henry) but he’s not as well known.
Good to see Dawson’s James Van Der Beek despite it’s a small role.
Keywords: romance, crime, thriller
— Spoiler Ahead —
No matter how lonely and resentful Adele has felt, no matter how great a cook Frank is, there’s simply not possible to fall in love with a fugitive like that. but you do learn a couple things on how to make a good peach pie and that maybe you would try to add coffee into your food. That scene reminds of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze doing pottery in Ghost, showing hands intertwined and touching.
The abused scene from the mother to her mentally challenged kid was a real snap in the audience. It was so hard to watch and while I do not know if it’s actually in the book, it’s totally unnecessary in the movie. The audience gasped.
The plot that additional years added for his escape plus the alleged kidnapping of Winslet and son was believable; because the author can’t make that dramatic to the point the whole “family” can simply cross the border in 1987 without being stopped as a fugitive. If it did, people would have complained that it was not right. Because after all, he did accidentally killed his wife.
The questioning of whether his son was his is a subplot only to be used as a trigger point for his sudden rage. The drowning of his son has no real value to the story. These scenes were more about begging for filming art purpose.
It is a better plot that Frank waited until he got out of prison to write her, while all those years he returned all the unopened letters from Adele. That does show his integrity and good consideration to allow Adele to try to find someone else, even at the time of fleeing, he was not thinking that by clouding his judgement of falling so impossibly quickly in love with her.