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

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

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...

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.