Looking Back at 2010s Films: Flipped (2010)

8 Nov

By Tanner Smith

Rob Reiner’s “Flipped” is yet another underrated treasure that I think more people should check out. It had a limited release in Fall 2010 before heading straight to DVD. No one saw it, and I probably wouldn’t have either if I hadn’t read two highly positive reviews by Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli. And that’s a shame, because this would have been the film that would have earned Rob Reiner some respect again, after a long dry spell.

And he’s still struggling, with subsequent films such as “The Magic of Belle Isle,” “Being Charlie,” “And So It Goes,” and “Shock and Awe.” (Though, I thought “LBJ” was decent.)

“Flipped” is a film that shows a love story between two pre-teens that has an ingenious storytelling gimmick of showing scenarios from the perspectives of both the girl and the boy. The girl has liked him since 2nd grade, the boy has been trying to avoid her all this time, and as time goes by, their feelings for each other start to change–he starts to like her while she develops a disinterest in him. And the best thing is, you’re able to understand from both angles.

Family film, schmamily film. That doesn’t make it a “kid film”–Watch this movie, and tell me you don’t recognize certain feelings you felt when you were a kid.

There is one major thing that nearly kills the movie for me. Bryce’s father (played by Anthony Edwards) is such an ass. I can’t stand him. He always says the wrong things without thinking about them, and I just want to smack him each time he shows up on screen. Later, when the film tries to make us see him as “a coward,” I groaned because I still couldn’t see a character there.

The only reason I originally rated this film three-and-a-half stars instead of three (which would still be a recommendation) is because while there are many family-oriented films that feature supporting characters as one-note jerks (“The Education of Little Tree,” “Secondhand Lions,” “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” among others), this one only has ONE. So I guess that’s a relief.

“Flipped” is still Rob Reiner’s best film in years–probably not up there with “This is Spinal Tap,” “Stand by Me,” “The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery,” “The Sure Thing,” “A Few Good Men”…man, he’s made some great stuff before “North,” hasn’t he? (Bring ’em back, Rob!) But anyway, then again, so few films are up to those standards. “Flipped” is still a pleasant, touching, satisfying romantic comedy that more people should give a watch.

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