By Gary Murray
Starring Lynn Collins, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Ari Graynor, Oscar Isaac, Kate Mara, Justin Long, Max Minghella and Rosario Dawson
Written and directed by Jamie Linden
Running time 105 min
Selig Film Rating Cable
I have a friend who is obsessed by the movie The Breakfast Club. He thinks that it is one of the best films ever made and always complains that there was never a sequel. I keep insisting that some movies just don’t need sequels and that sometimes going back and seeing those beloved characters years in the future could diminish the effect of the original work. Proof of this idea that you can’t go back again is in the new Jamie Linden ensemble comedy 10 Year.
The story is of a ten year high school reunion. Jake (Channing Tatum) is the former prom king who has a new girl Jess (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) whom he is dragging back to attend his reunion. There will be many old friends and his high school sweetheart Mary (Rosario Dawson), a relationship that died when he went off to college. Jake is in the financial industry but one feels that it is more of a job than a career.
The biggest success in the class is Reeves (Oscar Isaac) a musician with a hit single. It seems that every person in the graduation class wants to take a picture with him. There is still a soft spot in his heart for Elise (Kate Mara), the girl in school that he barely talked to.
Marty (Justin Long) is a NYC success story and his best buddy AJ (Max Minghella) still both have the hots for uber babe Anna (Lynn Collins). There are other stories, but one gets the gist of the plot.
The story is of this group of late 20 year olds getting drunk & high and reliving their glory days that have passed them by. Plot threads come and go, with some people making connections and other just living the lie of being successful. There are few surprises in the world of 10 Year.
The females in the film are some of the biggest performers in young Hollywood. Rosario Dawson has been a darling of independent cinema for the last few years. Here, she plays Mary, a woman coming back for one reason. This is another fine but small reading from the actress.
Lynn Collins should be one of the biggest actresses on the planet. She was in Wolverine, The Number 23 and John Carter. The aspect about those performances is that she does such a great job of hiding in the character that no one remembers her. As Anna, this is more of the same. It is another great role that will not endear her face to the masses.
Ari Graynor and Aubrey Plaza are both comic performers and in this film they find moments to steal most of the laughs. Ari plays a young mom who realizes that her husband can be as much of an embarrassment as he can be a good dad. Aubrey finds that her husband was a much different person in high school. They have the two big revelations of the film.
The big couple of 10 Year are also the big couple in real life. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum first worked together on Step it Up and have basically been a real life couple since then. Playing young people in love, they have a true chemistry that is refreshing. It is too bad that the material is not as fresh as the performances.
Most of the guys are so interchangeable that it almost becomes comic keeping them all straight. Of all the guys Chris Pratt as Cully shines above his co-stars. The comic actor from Parks and Rec knows how do deliver a comic line and does it time and time again in 10 Year. His half heart-felt apologies to all the guys he terrorized in high school is funny in its insincerity.
The problem with writer/director Jamie Linden’s film is that there is just too much going on. If the screenplay were paired down and more focused it would have been more effective. With so many characters, the final product is muddled down. It almost becomes a form of short-hand in the writing. Much like the films Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, this is another ensemble dramatic comedy that has too much.
In the final analysis, 10 Year is much like your high school reunion. They are both something that happens that not many want to be a part of. And after you have been to both, you know deep in your heart that you will never go there again.