The Rebound

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A housewife and mother of two, Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones), discovers that her husband has been unfaithful. After a hasty divorce, she leaves home and goes to New York City with her young son and daughter. There they begin a new life. Sandy quickly rents an apartment above a coffee house and befriends one of the waiters, Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha). Aram, at 25, is not sure what he wants to do with his life although he has a college degree and a tendency toward women’s studies and feminism. He decides to babysit Sandy’s children ultimately becoming their full-time nanny. He develops a close-knit relationship with both children and a chemistry starts to brew between Aram and Sandy ensuing in an awkward sexual encounter that the children come to know about.

Notwithstanding, they start to date and after two months they seem perfect together. One day Sandy feels nauseous and suspects she is pregnant. Aram is thrilled and looks forward to raising a child with her. A doctor confirms that Sandy is pregnant, but it is an ectopic pregnancy and will result in a miscarriage. As they leave the doctor, a fight breaks out between Aram and Sandy, with the latter confirming that she thinks it’s ludicrous that the two of them, with an age difference of 15 years, would ever be happy together. After the break up, Aram decides to travel the world and to improve the lives of others. Sandy gets promoted at her job.

After five years, the two share a chance encounter in a restaurant. Aram reveals he has adopted a young boy from Bangladesh and is still single. Sandy, who is celebrating her promotion with her children and a colleague, invites Aram and his family to join them. The film ends as the two hold hands underneath the table whilst their children start to bond.

REVIEW:

March Madness started this morning, so I was looking for some kind of basketball flick. Couldn’t find one, but The Rebound is sort of a basketball related title, so it works.

What is this about?

A beautiful single mother living in New York City, Sandy surprises everyone, including herself, when she becomes romantically involved with Aram Finklestein, her 20-something neighbor who’s many years her junior.

What did I like?

Love. Most romantic comedies that we see tend to forget about the two things that define their genre, romance and comedy. While this film doesn’t exactly leave the viewer rolling on the floor laughing, it does offer up lots of romance. There is just enough of it so as not to feel sickened with all the sap.

Chemistry. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha have great chemistry together. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Bartha actually felt like he was actually vying for the affections of the nearly twice his age Zeta-Jones (can you blame him?) I believe we’ve all seen these age-challenged romances, but often times they just don’t seem believable.

Sound of Silence. I didn’t realize it until the final credits, but Art Garfunkel plays Mr. Finkelstein, a typical Jewish father…great comic relief.

What didn’t I like?

Montage. Right before the film’s final scene, Zeta-Jones has the typical female overreaction that we get in romantic comedies and breaks up with Bartha. I won’t go into the ludicrous way that this was a total 360 from her behavior for the rest of the film up to that point, but it causes him to go on a journey around the world. Basically, in the 5 yrs he;’s gone, her kids get older, she gets a new job, blah, blah, blah. It was just a way for them to fill some time because they couldn’t think of anything better to do.

Cliche. All the prerequisites for a romantic comedy are here, bitchy best friend, pushy Jewish parents, cheating signficant other, comic relief best friend. The only thing missing was some sappy love song, and I think we got that in the opening credits. Sometimes, all this stuff works, and other times it is just more of the same. For me, it felt like the latter. I was hoping we’d get a new monkey wrench thrown in there, and it just didn’t happen.

Flava Flav. No, Flava Flav isn’t in the film, but he does make an appearance on one of the televisions. I had totally forgotten about that God-awful show until then. Oy!

Despite the lack of basketball (Zeta-Jones is seen playing Fantasy basketball…she trades Kobe Bryant for Lebron James), The Rebound satisfied me this afternoon. Is this a film that I would watch over and over again? No, but it is decent enough to where I wouldn’t complain if I had to watch it again. If you get the chance, check it out!

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

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