Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Shades of Big Chill in Ivy League Alum Drama

A decade after the funeral of a member of their secret society, a group of Yale grads decide to get together again in New York City in accordance with her last request. But instead of honoring the memory of the dearly-departed, they end up spending the weekend psychoanalyzing each other and enviously comparing the progress of their respective careers. This is the unoriginal point of departure of Reunion, a flick which borrows its premise from The Big Chill, a Best Picture nominee from 1983 which revolved around a gathering of University of Michigan alums in the wake of a former classmate’s suicide.
Unfortunately, there’s not much reason to check out this shameless rip-off, unless you’ve never seen the original, and you’re inclined to watch a bunch of entitled Ivy Leaguers acting out like spoiled brats in the midst of a midlife crisis. Given the current state of the economy, the release of this rich kid melodrama is ill-timed and likely to leave you screaming “Grow up!” at the screen as you storm out of the theater.
Reunion was written and directed by Alan Hruska whose overplotted production introduces over a dozen characters, far more than the audience is apt to care to keep straight. There’s Lloyd (David Thornton), a twice-divorced billionaire who’s been dating a WASPy young actress (Alice Evans) from england for the past two years. Eamon (Christopher McDonald) is a writer who’s been nominated for the National Book Award four times.
Then we have Sadie (Amy Pietz) and agent to the stars, and Dr. Saul (Josh Pais) and Beth Resnick (Jessica Hecht), philanthropists criticized for being too ethnocentric and narrowly focused on Israel and Jewish causes. Etcetera… Everybody seems to have issues with everybody else here, leading one to wonder why such a privileged set would put up with such abuse just because they went to college together back in the Eighties.
Proof-positive that while legacy admissions may have its privileges, it obviously has its limitations, too.

Fair (1 star)
Running time: 94 minutes
Studio: Talking Pictures Company

No comments: