Projections - Movie Reviews

Bounce Bounce

From a spectacular emotional beginning, Bounce flattens out quickly and never bounces back.

We expect Buddy Amaral (Ben Affleck) and Abby Janello (Gwyneth Paltrow) to light up the screen with a growing love affair even though it is steeped in lies and lack of candor.  We wait for it to fill with emotional outbursts which of course will be settled at the climax of the film.   Surprisingly, the two potential lovers are far less effective when together on the screen than they are alone.  The confused process through which Janello learns her husband was on a fatal flight in Amaral's seat reaches us emotionally and is clearly the most effective segment of the film.  That leaves the last eighty minutes or so which do not reach expectations.

Amaral, after closing a big deal, gives his boarding pass to Greg Janello (Tony Goldwyn) so Greg can get home to his family on time.  He then spends the night with Mimi (Natasha Henstridge - Species) and it is Greg Janello in Amaral's seat that is killed when the plane crashes.  After spending a year with guilt and drinking to mask it, he looks up Greg's wife with the idea of helping her in some way.  By giving her real estate work, he learns she has yet to cope with her husbands death and tells Amaral she is divorced.  As the two become closer the cloud of the missing truth between them is certain to create problems.

The best performance and probably the best part is that of Seth (Johnny Galecki), Amaral's gay secretary who regularly cuts through the nonsense and puts the two potential lovers together.

Each main character feels guilt, Paltrow and her oldest son believe they caused her husband to rush home which induced him to take the early flight.  Affleck is guilt ridden because he didn't take the flight and he finds himself misrepresenting his motives to Paltrow.  But little of that is expressed in more than words, and though Paltrow is better than Affleck, neither appear to have their heart in the script.

In the end we find that the man "with people in his wallet," (pictures) has restrictions on his life which free wheeling Buddy Amaral learns to appreciate.  But as we watch his journey we find it is filled with little emotion we can hang on to, and we can't help being disappointed by the two lovers.


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