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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Bounce

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow
Director: Don Roos
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: November 2000
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Joe Morton, Johnny Galecki, Caroline Aaron, Natasha Henstridge, Jennifer Grey, Alex D. Linz, Juan Garcia, Mary Ellen Lyon

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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
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Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

In the romantic comedy and tragedy BOUNCE, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow play Buddy and Abby, two lovers who are living mutual lies. Abby is a widow who hides behind claims to be a divorcee, and Buddy is a man with strong but secret bonds to Abby. He "accidentally" meets her while trying to buy commercial real estate.

Written and directed by Don Roos, BOUNCE has none of the sharply written edginess of his last film, THE OPPOSITE OF SEX. With a plot and tone vaguely reminiscent of RANDOM HEARTS, starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas, BOUNCE concerns two people affected by the aftermath of an airline disaster.

At a Chicago airport bar on a snowy night, Buddy meets Abby's husband, Greg (Tony Goldwyn). Buddy generously gives Greg his Infinity Airlines ticket so that Greg can make it home to be with his son. This last flight out that night ends in a cataclysmic fireball that kills everyone onboard. An unrecognizable Jennifer Grey (DIRTY DANCING) plays the airline clerk who lets Greg on with Buddy's ticket.

Ironically, Buddy is an ad executive working on the Infinity Airlines account. Full of guilt for not dying, he resents the airline's schmaltzy ad series, "We Remember," that memorializes the victims and honors their families. Turning to booze to drown his sorrows, he hits bottom in a drunken stupor when he accepts an advertising award for the ad series. "We crashed; we're humble; and we're ready to sell some tickets," he tells the stunned crowd in his acceptance speech before passing out on stage.

After some time in a rehab clinic, he looks up Abby, hoping to do something nice for her financially in order to atone for his perceived sins. She turns out to be a nervous and ditzy real estate agent. Smoking badly, she explains that she is only doing it to cure her addiction to the anti-smoking gum that she got hooked on while trying to support a friend. An unhappy type, Abby says things like, "if you grade on a curve, I'm happy," talking as much to herself as to others.

Buddy and Abby's awkward friendship and eventual love affair are pleasant enough but never particularly engaging. Their first date is to a baseball game in which the large scoreboard displays the slogan, "Make some noise." The actors would have served the audience better if they had heeded that advice.

Even if it isn't quite worth recommending, the film does have its moments, especially its funnier ones. "Guys screw up," Abby's friend explains to her when she is about to give up on Buddy after learning his secret. "It's in his manual, right after love your grill and leave sox on the floor." But, when the movie tries to be a tear-jerker, it leaves you dry-eyed and feeling manipulated.

BOUNCE runs 1:46. It is rated PG-13 for some language and sensuality and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright 2000 Steve Rhodes

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