Blu-Ray Review: ‘Flipped’ Could Nearly Send You Head Over Heels

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CHICAGO – Director Rob Reiner’s career is undeniably a shadow of what it used to be with critical failures like “The Bucket List,” “Alex and Emma,” and “Rumor Has It…” diminishing the fact that this talented man gave us “Stand By Me,” “This is Spinal Tap,” and “The Princess Bride.” “Flipped” certainly doesn’t merit consideration with Reiner’s best but it is closer to form than he has been recently and it’s a film that’s easy to fall at least halfway in love with if not fully flipping head over heels. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

Returning to the time period that worked so well for him with “Stand By Me,” “Flipped” is a sentimental dramedy with two genuine young adult performances that salvage the piece from some broad cliches of authority figures. The film features enough honest heart that I think it will satisfy even the people hesitant to rent it but I wish it had another coat of realism instead of broad generalizations. The young man and (especially) the young woman, one of whom appears in nearly every scene of the film, carry the affair and their notably believable performances will be the reason that I expect a lot of people will fall in love with “Flipped” but I only turned just barely over halfway.

Flipped was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 23rd, 2010
Flipped was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 23rd, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

“Flipped” features an episodic structure as the film is told in near-constant narration by neighbors Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) and Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll). The opening scenes of the film reveal that Juli fell for Bryce the day that he moves across the street. Of course, boys are dumb, and it takes Bryce a long time to realize that he will never do better than the smart, sweet, beautiful girl he calls neighbor.

The film plays out as an episodic recounting of the time in our lives when small acts of kindness or meanness meant everything to you. And it’s told in an interesting manner. For example, Bryce will tell us the story of an encounter with Juli. Then the film frame flips and moves back to the beginning of that same story but from Juli’s point of view. Then she tells the next story.

McAuliffe and Carroll are very good, especially the latter, who gives one of the best turns I’ve seen in a film like this from a young actress. She’s a future star. I can guarantee it. The adults aren’t nearly as good (except John Mahoney, who can find a way to shine through anything) with Anthony Edwards, Rebecca DeMornay, Aidan Quinn, and Penelope Ann Miller coming off as pure cliche. I hated everything in “Flipped” that wasn’t about Bryce, Juli, or Mahoney’s grandpa Chet.

Luckily, Reiner knows to focus on his film’s greatest assets. The film belongs to the two young actors at the center and they more than carry the day. Reiner also seems more comfortable here than he has in years. He’s still far from his peak in the ’80s and early ’90s but “Flipped” gives one hope that he could get there again.

Special Features:
o The Differences Between a Boy and a Girl
o Embarassing Egg-scuses
o How to Make the Best Volcano
o Flipped: Anatomy of a Near Kiss
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy

“Flipped” stars Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Penelope Ann Miller, Aidan Quinn, and Kevin Weisman. It was written by Rob Reiner & Andrew Scheinman and directed by Reiner. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 23rd, 2010. It is rated PG and runs 90 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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