by Victoria Alexander
America can raise a sigh of relief: Clooney and Roberts are back as a bitchy divorced couple. Clooney is adorable and Roberts has the worst clothes a star has ever worn. Her archenemy dressed her.
I know this about Hollywood comedies about stars playing a divorced couple. No one is the guilty party. In real life, people do not divorce for no good reason. Divorce is a tough life choice. If there are children, there is custody, with money issues, division of property and usually third parties. Nine out of ten divorced couples hate each other – for life. Watch what happens to Tom and Giselle. Spend your day studying the Pitt-Jolie break-up documents. No one divorces because one spouse doesn’t flush the toilet or doesn’t put the cap back on the catsup bottle.
In Hollywood movies not one is the cruel spouse.
This is just what American moviegoers have been begging for: The reuniting of Julia Robert and George Clooney in a romantic comedy. These two actors are well past their wholesome youth, so the plot – two people who were married for 5 years 10 years ago – reunite to stop their daughter’s wedding to a Balinese seaweed farmer.
With two international “well-loved” stars, which one will accept the role of the heel who busted up the marriage? Could it be the wonderful George Clooney, dancing the funky-chicken to House of Pain’s “Jump Around”? Or is former America’s Sweetheart, Julia Roberts, the castrating wife, Georgia, who blew the marriage? Remember, she made being a prostitute a career enhancing path. Is Roberts going to play a wife who cheated on her husband with their town’s high school quarterback? Did she expose him as a degenerate gambler? Did Clooney’s David get their daughter’s best friend pregnant?
Directed by Ol Parker, who gave you – not me - MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN. That was enough for me to conclude that this is a basic plot for two big stars: No one is to blame for the divorce.
David and Georgia are both wildly successful: She is a L.A. gallerist and he is a very accomplished architect, with a well-toned physique but without a string of “models” for companionship.
The third party in their anti-trouple is a delightful, young French pilot Paul (Lucas Bravo) who worships Georgia. Paul might be beautiful but he is a puppy, following Georgia around, agreeing with everything she says and treating her like a goddess.
Paul is only missing the essential masculine backbone.
This being a female star of Robert’s stature it is written in her contract: Twice she is told how beautiful she is and a third time that she is gorgeous.
Their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) has fallen in mad, irresponsible love with a Bali peasant after one night. Lily and her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) are celebrating their graduation. Wren likes to drink, have sex with natives and has no law firm job to go home to. When Lily informs her parents she will marry Gede (Maxime Bouttier), a guy who lives in a tribe of relatives working with his ever-present family, David and Georgia are shocked.
After ten years apart, David and Georgia have only one common goal: Stop the wedding because (a) the guy has no money, (b) Lily found him on an international dating app, (c) he has no career plans, or (d) their daughter is abandoning a very expensive law degree to live without shoes farming seaweed.
Oh wait, this is a movie about David and Georgia. The reason their marriage ended is ridiculous. It’s vain and you dislike both for their entitled self-importance. Their divorce was just a frivolous blip on their impressive lives. Or, were they just too young?
After not seeing Clooney and Roberts on the big screen in some time, you can easily see that Clooney is thoroughly enjoying his clever lines and is having fun. Roberts, on the other hand, delivers exactly what made her a star: She has perfected a look of yearning interest with her signature wide smile. No matter what the scene, Roberts looks at Clooney like an adoring fan ready to follow him across a desert without sunscreen.
Are we just seeing contrived chemistry?
Clooney’s David doesn’t have a sexual aura or looks like he wants to have sex with his ex or the highly available Wren. Now that would be a great way to end the film! See! David was the bastard Georgia said he was!
For a complete list of Victoria Alexander's movie reviews
on Rotten Tomatoes go to:
www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/Victoria-alexander/movies Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org