Bounce (2000) - Romantic Drama about Healing and Forgiveness

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bounce Gwyneth Paltrow

Of late I have been watching a slew of “old” movies. Some have been good (despite dated filmmaking), others proved me right in having steered clear of them. The reasons for that are varying. Since I was in the mood for something new and had never watched this one, I decided to go the old-fashioned route and pop it into a VHS player. Talk about outdated.
Buddy Amarel (Ben Affleck) lives a life of luxury with no plans for anything to change. He's successful in his advertising business and enjoys the nationwide traveling perks that come with that. While awaiting his flight at O’Hare, he meets Greg, a family man whose only wish is to make it home to his wife and two small children. The only problem are the weather-related cancellations. Happy where he is, Buddy offers to switch tickets when the weather improves, putting Greg on his evening flight and leaving Buddy to take a later flight. Everything is set and seems a benefit to both strangers. Until the following morning when Buddy learns of the terrible accident.

Instead of dealing with his guilt, Buddy loses himself in alcohol before he begins a quest to find Greg’s widow, Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow). When he finds Abby, she's struggling with the burdens of single motherhood, balancing a real estate job, and telling people that her husband divorced her because it's easier than the truth. Two strangers in search of healing are held together by a secret that could shatter them.  

Bounce Ben Affleck
Going into this one, I really wanted to like it but instead I came away with feelings of meritocracy. Logically I know it is because of my uncomplimentary thoughts about filmmaking from the nineties and early millennium era. Now some ten years later, it's painfully outdated. (I know, I'm a film snob.) From the picture quality to the clothes, everything is almost laughable. I expect average productions from the forties and fifties – speaking purely from lack of modern technology, but to watch something from my generation that comes across as wanting is weird. Having said that, Bounce does offer its audience a tender story about loss and healing. With my petty complaints out of the way, let's move on.

Buddy and Abby are likable. They develop a sweet friendship that starts out more awkward than promising (realistic on her part and understandable on his), but the fact that their entire relationship is based off Buddy's dishonesty makes it a little harder to 100% support. The reason being, we're breathlessly awaiting the eventual fallout. Buddy’s guilt and feelings of responsibility were not meant to extend as far as they did but he finds himself drawn to Abby, and she in turn finds she cannot just write off what she sees as a “chance meeting” with this man she barely knows. The movie doesn’t focus enough time on the budding relationship between them to make it come across as possible that what eventually drives them apart would hurt as much as it does; it doesn't seem like their relationship should have progressed to that kind of love.

Bounce isn’t likely to become my favorite romance story by any means but it has a few sweet spots (like a scene at the water park). With time, I suspect it's one I'll come to appreciate more.

(The film is rated PG13 for one sensual scene of two people caressing one another in a state of undress and kissing, and one unfortunate use of the f-word. There is also the implication that one character has engaged in multiple one-night stands [we see him lying in bed with a woman once, sheets appropriately placed]. Milder uses of profanity are also present.) 


  1. I haven't seen this in years, but I remember liking it. =)

  2. I definitely think I'll watch this again because I've a feeling it will come across as more likable to me in a 2nd viewing. (Perhaps first I should get/rent the DVD!)


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