Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Flipped
Flipped is a movie that having seen it, I’m really sorry we haven’t covered here on Screen Rant up until now.
It’s also a film that marks the return of the 1980s version of director Rob Reiner, and that’s a mighty good thing. That’s the decade in which he brought us such gems as Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, and the most wonderful and most excellent The Princess Bride.
With Flipped Reiner delivers the nostalgia factor of Stand By Me and the sweetness of The Princess Bride in a coming of age story that just makes you want to grab a blanket, settle into your favorite spot on the couch and enjoy the mellow ride. It’s based on the novel “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen, which I’d never heard of until I happened to watch the trailer a couple of months ago with my daughter peeking over my shoulder – to which she exclaimed: “I love that book!”
The story is about Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) and Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll), two kids who meet as 7 year olds when the Loskis move in across the street from the Bakers. Young Bryce immediately experiences the “ick” factor towards Juli, and she the complete opposite over him. Appropriate to the title, throughout the film we’re flipped between his point of view on significant events and then hers – it’s an unusual approach but very effective for showing the audience (especially the young ‘uns) how different people can perceive the same events quite differently.
When we jump to the pair as 12 year olds, Juli has had a crush on Bryce for years, rationalizing and imagining that he feels the same way about her despite the fact that he almost completely ignores her. Bryce is just being a pre-pubescent boy and Juli is a smitten girl – it’s all very sweet until Bryce is not there to stand by her to defend something she cares deeply about. The first crack in the wall of her infatuation appears and a number of things compound that until she finally decides she no longer cares for Bryce – just as he finally starts to have feelings for her.
Juli is befriended by Bryce’s grandfather (John Mahoney) and they become close (she reminds him of his deceased wife). Her father is more of a dreamer while Bryce’s father is a stern, practical man who forms opinions about others without bothering to find out more about them.
While Juli is far wiser than Bryce, she has her own lessons to learn – taught by her good-hearted father (Aidan Quinn) and Bryce’s grandfather. Bryce has a lot more to learn about life, how to treat people and how to appreciate them – and his father (Anthony Edwards) stands as an example of what not to do while his mother (Rebecca De Mornay) does the best she can to be a counterpoint as a 1960s mom.
The casting in this film was brilliant – great performances all around. The style and cinematography do a wonderful job of taking the audience back to the late 50s/early 60s while the back and forth point of view keeps the story interesting and moving forward.
Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll do a stand out job (as do their very cute, younger counterparts Ryan Ketzner and Morgan Lilly) and it’s a joy watching them both learn their lessons and gain respect for themselves and one another. There’s another recent film that I’ve heard referred to as a movie about a boy becoming a man – and that’s a pale journey indeed compared to the difference between the Bryce we first meet here and the Bryce we’re left with at the film’s end.
I’m sure there will be many cynical reviews and opinions of Flipped, but I can’t recommend this film highly enough – grab the family and take them to see this warmhearted, sweet, comfortable, not-in-3D movie… you won’t regret it.