Have you ever imagined what a reunion of The Breakfast Club would look like (in movie form, that is)? Well, look no further, ’cause 10 Years is probably as close as you’re gonna get. The film, which stars the most employed guy in Hollywood, Channing Tatum (he also served as Executive Producer), Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Justin Long, and a whole slew of hot young actors, tells the story of, you guessed it, a group of high-school classmates and friends who return to their old stomping ground for their 10 year high school reunion.
If you like character driven dramedies or like looking at Channing Tatum, go out and see this film! It’s in limited release, so, if it’s playing at a theater near you, seize the opportunity and have fun. You can view the trailer here.
The film relies heavily on it’s ensemble cast, giving all of the actors unique and thoughtful characters–a rare quality in ensemble movies. And all actors were both beautiful and talented: Ari Graynor switched gears from her usual outrageous roles, playing the exasperated wife, Sam, of boy-man, Cully, played by Chris Pratt. The couple provided some of the most heartbreaking moments in the film, mostly because, out of all the main characters, they were the most stuck in high school. Chris Pratt’s character spent the film becoming increasingly intoxicated and belligerent, living up to his status as a high school jerk. Kate Mara and Oscar Isaac were another fantastic pair, playing Elise (formerly the shy, introspective loner) and Reeves (the now-famous musician who is secretly in love with her), respectively. The scenes between Elise and Reeves were extremely thoughtful and natural. The lack of heavy expository writing and steady pace of their scenes allowed the viewer to get a good sense of their characters and the things that moved them, making them the most compelling characters in the film. They were the most real and the most satisfying by far.
Justin Long and Max Minghella played best friends Marty and AJ, bringing a great lighthearted and humorous tone to the film, which balanced out the pathetic humor embodied by Chris Pratt’s character. Rounding out the group were Scott, played by Friday Night Lights alum, Scott Porter, as the only character fully content with his adult life, old besties Garrity (Brian Geraghty) and Andre (Anthony Mackie), and ex-popular girl, Anna (played wonderfully by Lynn Collins). And then there were Mary (Rosario Dawson) and Jake (Channing Tatum), the high school sweethearts who force their current loves into an awkward night by bringing them along. Jake is the thread that ties all the stories together, and the film begins and ends with his journey to propose to his girlfriend, Jess (played by his real life wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum). However, the film does not dwell on him at the expense of the other characters–a fact that is surprising given his star power–and his love interests (both past and present) are probably the least developed characters in the film. But, this is not a criticism, if anything it is a complement to how writer/director Jamie Linden made a touching film without overlooking any one of his central characters.
It’s been a few days since I have seen the film, and, as I write this, I still feel connected to all of the characters described above. The story may be predictable, and not extremely original, but it is the writing of the characters and the talented cast who truly elevate the film. Very rarely is there a film so true to the experience of high school and it’s afterlife: some believe that high school never ends, but this film shows that we must end it eventually, or be doomed to be the one everybody pities at their high school reunion.
Did any of you see the film? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear in the comments!