JULES – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Maybe it is because I am aging myself, but there appears to be a trend for movies over the last eight years to be aimed at the more seasoned members of society. 2023 appears to be no different with the release of Jules.
The town curmudgeon goes to the weekly city meeting to discuss the slogan of the city as it could be interpreted differently than intended and he has a request for an additional crosswalk, so he won’t get more jaywalking tickets. His life has become routine, and his memory may be starting to fail. This is first noticed by his daughter finding a can of green beans in the bathroom. One night he wakes up to a loud noise only to discover a spaceship has crashed in his yard, taking out his azaleas and birdbath. Upon sharing this news his mental stability is questioned by all but two women close in age to him.
I found this movie to be like a light summer beach read. The story flowed, the characters were relatable, not 100% realistic yet not so focused on the fantasy that it took away from the enjoyment. At the heart of this film is a look at how, when people get to a certain age, they need to be needed and if they do not get this need met at home, they will go looking for it. The ideas they come up with are not always the best. Having someone to really listen or give the appearance of listening and showing they care can help fill this gap. The other theme is that growing older does not automatically mean that the adult has become childlike and grown children now must take care of their parent(s). Watching for signs is not a bad thing, jumping to conclusions can be.
Director Marc Turtletaub directed/produced Puzzle in 2018 and produced The Farewell in 2019. This started the level of expectation I had for this film to be above average. Add in a cast of Sir Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, and Harriet Sansom Harris and my expectations went even higher. Those expectations were not met. This isn’t to say that the film disappointed me, it just didn’t meet my expectations. After watching and marinating on it, I do wonder while it was being written and discussed whether there was a good story concept here, or if something was missing. A voice said to add an alien. Or maybe it was the want to write about an alien and not be campy or overly sci-fy with it and the voice said add a grumpy old man. No matter what the reality is, the end result was a cute movie.
Director: Marc Turtletaub
Written By: Gavin Steckler
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Harriet Sansom Harris, Zoe Winters, Jane Curtin, Jade Quon
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for strong language
Selig Rating: 3.5 stars
Runtime: 1h 30m
Release Date: August 11, 2023
Movie Site: Jules website
Trailer: Jules Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .
1 Star – Total waste of time.