Reunion

"Weak"

Reunion Review


Although propped up by the art house cachet of being part of the experimental Dogme95 minimalist cinema movement, the high school reunion dramedy "Reunion" cannot seem to escape the semi-stock characters and formulaic catharses that are par for the genre course.

Reuniting with their former teenage clique in Ojai, California, the half dozen 1981 graduates focused on by writer Kimberly Shane O'Hara and director Lief Tilden are seen largely though the eyes of Jeanie (Jennifer Rubin), an outsider that none of the film's group of friends recognizes from their teens. She had been an awkward wallflower in school, but has since blossomed into a confident, worldly coquette (and very unconvincing professional photographer).

Jeanie blows into town to exorcise some personal demons by revealing her successful adult self to those who once ignored her and by sleeping with the former school stud (Billy Wirth), who is now bitter about winding up a lowly bus driver -- and more than willing to oblige the off-kilter advances of this pretty, esoteric woman he doesn't remember at all as a girl.

As the group assembles at their old pizza joint hang-out (which has gone veggie under the ownership of a dead classmate's cokehead younger brother), they're joined by a bland Army Lt. Colonel (Dwier Brown) who has just been dismissed for coming out of the closet, a musician (Corey Glover) returning to town and meeting his son for the first time since running away from a pregnant girlfriend at age 18, the former town tramp (Marlene Forte) who is now the firey, Type-A town mayor and a neurotic new divorcee (Rainer Judd) who gave up her dreams to put her husband through college and has just been left for a younger woman. Everyone's interpersonal issues are summarily telegraphed and cataloged before the reuniting of good friends begins to have a therapeutic effect on each of them.

Most of the cast takes their characters' journeys to heart and turns in pithy, if sometimes indefinite, performances. Rubin is especially good and has, by far, the most depth to work with, playing a woman who thought she had truly left her past behind but can't seem to shake her desire to be accepted by -- and to toy a little with -- these people who welcome her today but excluded her 20 years ago. It's just a shame she barely knows how to hold a camera. It seems that not much thought went into career credibility.

Being filmed on hand-held digital video (per Dogme rules) that is unfortunately cheap looking and distractingly pixely, the picture is meant to have a slightly home-movie ambiance. But even if the effect worked, it wouldn't compensate for the way director Tilden keeps the characters at arm's length. Watching "Reunion" feels like being a character's brand new spouse, dragged along on this trip down memory lane -- you never feel like any more than a tourist in these people's lives.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 8th September 2005

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jake, as Beth, as Barnaby, as Averil, as Max, as Minerva, Anna Khaja as Anna, as Saul, as Sadie, as Emily, as Lloyd, as Eamon, as Farley

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.