Easily the best film you didn’t see this year. Fabulous performances by both the young and established (Tucci and Clarkson rock as our heroine’s parents) but really sold by Stone’s wry, and often sweetly baffled, delivery. It is all at once an homage, a riff, a satire, and an update of John Hughes’ films and right up there with Joss Whedon on dialogue.
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And this is a light 3 stars at that. Poor Nick Cage. He isn’t a bad actor, but this was just not something that he could deliver. This is a difficult movie to start off with as it is a remake. And worse yet, a story that is essentially one-way. Once you understand it, it loses its power. It doesn’t have to be that way with “secret” movies, but that is how this works out. There are no believable relationships or characters to hang your hat on in this production despite the loads of talent and visual richness. And with no believable relationships and characters, you ain’t got nothin’ to pull you along or to pull you back.
While there are interesting twists to the original flick, that starred a younger Edward Woodward, it is essentially the same tale. And, yes, I’ve seen the original and recommend it over this version, if nothing else as it is such a product of its time that it has huge kitsch value.