I've lost count of how many mindless, bland movies Hollywood has been churning out, in the hope that the audience will be so distracted by the action and special effects and fail to notice the weak plot and lacklustre acting. You don't need big budget movies to win people over. Sometimes even the simplest of movies can be the most sincere , as proven by the film Flipped.
While the theme of first love centres as part of main plot, Rob Reiner (also director of The Bucket List) deftly tackled other issues with aplomb- typically weighty like honesty, courage, coming of age, prejudice, familial relationships. In less capable hands, it would have easily come across as tired, and the audience would have steered well clear of such cliches. But with Reiner's skillful execution, coupled with the authentic acting and gorgeous cinematography, it translated into a film that was poignant and irresistibly heartwarming. Of course it helped that there was a great soundtrack, which paid tribute to the era of oldies like The Chiffons and The Everly Brothers, against the backdrop of 1960s American suburbia.
Anchoring the film were the commendable performances of the two young actors who played Julianna Baker (Madeline Carroll) and Bryce Loski(Callan McAuliffe). Truly, they were a joy to watch. I particularly liked the portrayal of Juli. Carroll took the character and made it her own, managing to strike a delicate balance between wide-eyed innocence and yet displaying a maturity beyond her years.
The supporting cast and vivid characterization strengthened the story further, injecting candor and giving depth and providing substance to the film. For all his snide comments and condescending attitude, Bryce's father( played by Anthony Edwards) still came across as someone the audience could relate to. Likewise, the family confrontation scenes were emotionally charged and it left me almost in tears. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that Flipped is a film worth watching.