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Overall Rating

Awesome: 29.58%
Worth A Look35.21%
Just Average: 12.68%
Pretty Crappy: 5.63%
Sucks: 16.9%

5 reviews, 41 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Bounces itself to an admirable position. Affleck & Paltrow connect."
5 stars

“Bounce” is a consistent and adroit compilation of drama, romance and comedy, all three of which were never overly exaggerated. The film is written and directed by Don Roos who made his directorial debut with his own original script in 1998 with the immensely hilarious dark comedy “The Opposite of Sex.” One of the top 5 best films of that year in my book, “Opposite” was fresh, darkly brewed and purposely over the brim. In “Bounce,” Roos shows a similar strength in the process and development of his film that has led him to the front of the line towards receiving the label of a prowess.

Buddy Amaral (Ben Affleck) is a big-shot ad executive and alcoholic based out of L.A. He’s got a Superiority Complex but stays pretty oblivious to it. During a holiday season at O’Hare Airport, he’s smitten for a one-nighter with a sexy kitten named Mimi (Natasha Henstridge), so after some haughty behavior with Greg (Tony Goldwyn), a married father of two, Buddy gives him his ticket since Greg’s flight is on layover, allowing him to get home to family and allowing Buddy to spend the night with Mimi. Only an hour-and-a-half or so into the flight, the plane crashes without any survivors. (I wonder if it could be connected to “Unbreakable.”)

Greg’s wife Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow) is devastated. Buddy is shaken (he has an existential crisis) and is thrown into a drunken stupor. Time passes and he’s released from AA trying to get back on track. He still feels bad and wants to make amends for the plane accident, or at least wants to make sure Greg’s family is doing okay, so he throws a little real estate business to an unknowingly Abby. Buddy intended for it to end there, but Abby likes him a lot. (For awhile she pretends to Buddy that she’s divorced since he “supposedly” doesn’t know because, “I like thinking Greg and I are divorced so it was like more of a decision, not fate or destiny.”) Buddy, too, has begun to fall for her, and not intrepidly, for he really does want to tell her the truth but keeps putting it off. Trouble follows, but in a mellifluous and calm manner.

The film takes a comfortable pace that works to, and shows, its development. “Bounce” consistently gives off a melancholy, affecting mood. You’re constantly stepping around glass, but not actually to the worrisome position of being on it. The established mood gives the proceeding plot rhyme and reason, but avoids overbearing and thick layerings of an artificial feeling. Affleck and Paltrow’s chemistry compliments each other. I don’t know if it had anything to do with their real relationship gleeting over into the film or if it was just because of the (at least) off-screen comradery they have. But their characters and performances nicely balanced a lickerousness. Both of them look good, while their masks –however thick or thin—create a smooth guise. You totally buy them. Tony Goldwyn (also in “The 6th Day” this week) is briefly genuine, while it was also nice to see cuties Henstridge and Joe Morton, however limited their roles were. Not much can be said for Alex D. Linz besides the dire need to ditch the rag-tag mop. Haley Joel Osment, he ain’t.

The balance and seriousness that Roos approaches “Bounce” with is what makes it work so well. His writing and direction prove it. He blends conflicts and lack of compromises very adeptly. When Affleck/Buddy are trying to deal with pretending not to know Greg’s dead while Abby stairs up something in particular that’s sad, it’s poignant to us as well. It’s believable, and the way that Buddy handles the anticipation (not happy anticipation, but trepidation anticipation) of telling her what happened is realistic without flooding us with pathos and forced sentimentality.

With minor exceptions of plausibility (Mimi bringing the videotape of the three prior to Buddy’s announcement, or whether his spiel/confession/outcrying monologue during a Court TV case would have been allowed or interrupted because it wasn’t an answer to a question), like another release from this week, “You Can Count on Me,” it’s mature and faceted. I don’t know if I like this so much because I’m a hopeless romantic, or if it was because this was so ardently determined.

Roos creates unique characters and does a commendable job of getting actors to fill their shoes. I sense that Roos was quick to run with such a toutable cast and in the process forgot about a better, but less bankable crew from “The Opposite of Sex” –I just hope Roos doesn’t take this for granted and let it go to his head. “Opposite” had Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow, Martin Donovan –however, Johnny Galecki does return (again) as a gay character. (I mention this due to something Ricci expressed in a interview, something about being left out and wanting to be a part of this.) The polished cinematography by Robert Elswit adds with the crisp aesthetic. “Bounce” warrants itself deservedly as one of the best romances of the year, but also one of the better films in general. There is a salient absence for superficiality, and that is a huge advantage.

Final Verdict: A.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1746&reviewer=172
originally posted: 11/17/00 19:45:22
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell solid imho 4 stars
12/18/07 Boris I never was in a situation like that. but imagine this is not how one would act or feel 1 stars
8/26/05 ES Not woth the bother, cookie cutter plot and ending 2 stars
3/21/04 Cupid I was in tears. it was so emotional 5 stars
10/12/03 Sehgha Hejvunpam Gwyneth Foultrow's worst movie. She's yucky-schmucky in this. Avoid. 1 stars
4/21/03 Pam be Dextrous Best line: What is a dooryard? But that does not a movie make. 2 stars
4/09/03 Joesco Watched it for Natasha who needn't have turned up but a good film with Ben & Gwyn excellent 4 stars
1/04/03 Sully Affleck is the WORST actor this side of Danny Bonnaduchi. HE SUCKS DOG ASS!!!!! 1 stars
11/15/02 Big Ted Gwyneth shoulda won the Oscar for this NOT Shakespeare In Love. 5 stars
10/23/02 Phil M. Aficionado I agree 100% with Erik the Movieman; it is a fine film, albeit a bit trite 4 stars
4/22/02 KMG Watching "Gwennie" and the Benster on film was nauseating 2 stars
3/31/02 Kakararniniginjia Sinitraviwasanjofraz Like making pivot in the ball when the collector sends it again to the jar 2 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden I Would Have Liked To See More Jennifer Grey, She Was Interesting. 3 stars
1/20/02 Soggy Bottom Boy Good acting, but a lot of the film felt contrived. First half was good, but went downhill. 4 stars
7/21/01 J I'm suprisingly with Erik & Nuwanda on this one. (Though I wasn't too far to go with Greg) 4 stars
6/25/01 Tzila Seewald Perfect movie! 5 stars
4/20/01 Monday Morning Movie is cliche-city but I'm loving GP more and more each film she's in. 3 stars
2/11/01 ASHLEY LOEL she is a nasty BIT** 1 stars
12/24/00 Wada Loved it. 5 stars
12/19/00 AlGore I hate Ben Affleck and his movies. Good thing he's dating Billy Bob daughter and not mine! 1 stars
12/10/00 natasha Honest, with a good heart. I can't wait to see Don Roos' and Ben Affleck's next movies. 5 stars
12/10/00 BrittenysPears Affleck is the most overrated actor and "writer" of our time. lame as hell movie save your$ 1 stars
12/05/00 Affleckted Loved it. Ben was great. Love their chemistry. I'd see it again and again. 5 stars
12/05/00 Heidi This movie was slow but awesome 5 stars
12/05/00 Robin Elizabeth Loved it! Ben, When are we going to meet? 5 stars
12/02/00 jeff michael Boring......................slept thru it... 1 stars
12/02/00 AffleckFan Predictable. I was expecting another "Opposite of Sex". 3 stars
12/02/00 miyax What a waste of $8.75...I've never seen anything so predictable... 1 stars
12/01/00 Angela Murtagh A great flick...entertaining... 5 stars
12/01/00 TJMax Long live Ben and Gwen, whose talent is given maximum coverage here. Wonderful 5 stars
11/30/00 Gilberto Mello The Reallity About Phantom Business in Brazil 5 stars
11/26/00 Fred Excellent movie. Enjoyed by both Gwyneth's and Ben's performances and their 'chemistry'. 5 stars
11/23/00 KoHawk If you see this for a reason other than your woman dragged you there, you should be ashamed 1 stars
11/20/00 Kirsten Ben looks and acts better than ever. 4 stars
11/20/00 chuckmfh good way to spend a couple of hours 5 stars
11/19/00 Nick The story line never catches up -kinda like Al Gore. This Movie is a real loser. 1 stars
11/19/00 chris Best movie of the year! 5 stars
11/19/00 mesawyou It's entertaining 4 stars
11/18/00 Mike This movie had NO SUBSTANCE. Ben &Gwen need to give the world a rest 1 stars
11/11/00 Carol I loved this movie! Ben Affleck is so hot! 5 stars
11/04/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Dear God, when will Paltrow quit movies and give the world a rest? 1 stars
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  17-Nov-2000 (R)


  08-Mar-2001 (M)

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