Although I’d hardly call The Rebound a great romantic comedy, thanks to the chemistry Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha bring, it’s at least worth checking out.
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance
Fox | R – 95 min. – $29.99 | February 7, 2012
Directed by: Bart Freundlich
Writer(s): Bart Freundlich (written by)
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: Size
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
The latest romantic comedy to come down the pike, The Rebound, was actually filmed in 2008 and released around the world in 2009. Yet, it’s seeing its debut on DVD/Blu-ray in 2012, never a good sign when a production company has trouble getting a distributor let alone unable to get it released into theaters. Still, I didn’t think this was half bad, although there are a couple moments that took what could’ve been a good film into something more or less above average.
The Rebound tells the story of 40-year-old Sandy (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES) who, after finding a video showing her husband (JASON ROBARDS) screwing another woman, moves with her two kids to New York City to start anew. Being a sports junkie, she gets a job with local sports channel SNN and gets a decent sized apartment above a coffee shop where 25-year-old Aram (JUSTIN BARTHA) works. Young Aram lives at home supposedly to save up but his life experiences is fairly limited.
Aram is hired by Sandy to babysit her kids due to her hectic work schedule. No, she didn’t run a background check but because of his work (for one day) at a women’s group where he served as a human punching bag for women with emotional issues (chalk one more for a convenient second meeting). This is just one of two really perplexing moments in this film, the second I will recount later, though there’s a spoiler warning attached.
In the meantime, Sandy is pushed by best friend Daphne (KATE JENNINGS GRANT) to get back in the saddle and sets her up on a blind date (JOHN SCHNEIDER) that turns out to be a dreadful decision. Sandy is at her lowest trying to figure out what has gone awry with her life and soon enough she takes a chance at Aram after he invites her to a wrestling match. Despite their age difference (about 15 years) and some unusual glances from friends, the pairing seems to work. It seems the kids love Aram and he them becoming an almost a father-like figure and the relationship is seemingly on the fast track.
** Spoiler Warning **
One might wonder at this point, will these two love birds buck the trend set forth by the thousands of romantic comedies that have come before? Well, spoiler warning, but no. Indeed just as things are going very well for the couple, they have a fight and break up as Sandy feels she’s holding Aram back from his full potential (there was warning signs before that he turned down a better job for her). What follows is a montage sequence set against some moody music you’d hear at Barnes and Noble as Aram travels the world to, I guess, find himself (didn’t realize he saved up THAT much money) and Sandy moves up in her professional career.
Now, here’s where I dropped a half star: at the very end, five years after the break up, the couple run into one another (what a coincidence!) at a restaurant where Sandy is celebrating her promotion with her kids and former boss and Aram is having dinner with his parents (played by ART GARFUNKEL and JOANNA GLEASON, by the way). The pair catches up when we are introduced to…Aram’s son, Zeke. No, it’s not his natural son but a boy he adopted from another country.
I’m no expert in adoption and even though it took 2 years for the adoption to be finalized, I had to wonder how common this practice was. I would think the boy would go to a home with a mother and father (or even one with a gay and/or lesbian couple) before handing him off to a single guy in his late 20s. And what was the point of this? To show he’s ready for fatherhood? Seems to me he was a good father figure to Sandy’s kids, so that can’t be it. Was it to have a kid that he can call his own? Um, seems to weak but at least plausible explanation in Hollywood-land.
** End Spoilers **
Yes, it’s that last bit that really did it for me. It wasn’t the two kids who were precocious beyond their years and know many things about the human anatomy that a certain segment of society hasn’t a clue about. However, by this point I’ve come to expect unrealistic kids put in unrealistic situations from these kinds of movies.
As far as the cast goes, I give some credit to Justin Bartha as he brings a certain innocence and naivety to the role while Catherine Zeta-Jones shows once again she is still sexy as hell and, conversely to Bartha, grow from a broken woman to somebody able to overcome strong emotions to straighten out her life. I doubt this is the best we’ve seen from either actor (i.e. Bartha in National Treasure played the fun sidekick quite nicely and Zeta-Jones had a more complex role in Traffic and even Entrapment). Even so, one of the biggest obstacles as to whether a romantic comedy-drama succeeds to fails is the chemistry and both of them demonstrate sparks whenever they’re together.
Written and Directed by Bart Freundilch (Catch That Kid, Trust the Man), The Rebound is light yet mature romantic comedy featuring two good performances and a decent enough story that will keep you entertained for 90-minutes. In spite of a couple of questionable scenes, I still enjoyed the movie and give it a slight recommendation.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
Cast and Crew Interviews (24:36) includes comments from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Director Bart Freundlich, Art Garfunkel, Justin Bartha, Joanna Gleason, Kelly Gould & Andrew Cherry. It’s a fairly lengthy amount of footage as they talk about the story or their respective characters. While it’s nothing special, you do get a bit more info about the project.
VIDEO – 3.75/5
The Rebound is presented with a clean looking 1080p high-definition transfer with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. I can’t say this is an impressive transfer because at times the film does look a tad soft. However, there’s a fair amount of natural noise and film grain and the color array looks well balanced.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
For its genre, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is suitable but nothing special. Obviously the bulk of the track is made up of dialogue which primarily makes use of the center channel while the front and rear speakers get used more for ambient noises/chatter and the fluffy romantic score or music. This track is probably good enough for smaller home theaters.
OVERALL – 2.75/5
Although I’d hardly call The Rebound a great romantic comedy, thanks to the chemistry Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha bring, it’s at least worth checking out. The Blu-ray offers up above average video and audio transfers while the features have much to be desired, although it hardly comes as a surprise.