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STUDIO: Anchor Bay
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
• Deleted Scenes
A group of attractive friends gather for their 10 year reunion with their attractive classmates.
Written and directed by Jamie Linden, starring Channing Tatum, Oscar Isaac, Chris Pratt, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, and Max Minghella.
Tatum and friends head to their 10 year high school reunion, where they encounter old flames, old enemies, and lost loves. This conventional comedy covers subject matter we’ve seen countless times before, but the great ensemble saves it from being completely dismissible.
In movies and on TV, high school reunions are always filled with the same people. The nerd who’s now a successful computer programmer with a trophy wife. The class slut who cranked out babies and is now a miserable waif living off child support. The jock who hasn’t grown up and expects everyone to still be the same person they were 10 years ago. It’s fine to stick to all these conventions as long as they’re done well and there’s at least some original ideas injected.
Off the top of my head a great example is the reunion episode of King of Queens that guest-starred Adam Sandler (I know, I know, but he wasn’t always embarrassing). Sandler and Kevin James used to be the troublemakers in school, but now Sandler’s the assistant principal. Hanging out with Kevin James snaps something in his brain and he devolves into a deviant and starts doing a bunch of illegal shit. Anyway, it’s great episode and a fantastic example of a high school reunion done right.
10 Years brings absolutely nothing new to the table. You’ve got all the stock characters I mentioned above and a few extra character tropes thrown in for good measure. The only thing it has going for it is the ensemble, which overall is terrific. Channing Tatum (Step Up 2: The Streets) is Jake, a mortgage broker who’s been carrying around a ring, waiting for the perfect moment to propose to his girlfriend (played by real-life wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum). Some of his apprehension may be stemming from the feelings he still has for his high school sweetheart, Mary (Rosario Dawson). Unsurprisingly (although they play it off as a surprise), Mary shows up at the reunion with her husband (Ron Livingston).
Also present for the reunion is a buffet of good-looking actors – Oscar Isaac, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Kate Mara, Chris Pratt, and more. This must have been the most attractive high school class in America. They each have their hang-ups that they’re hoping to resolve at the reunion. Everyone does about 30 shots over the course of the film. The walls should’ve been covered in vomit by the end of the night, but only Chris Pratt gets to act wasted.
There are some “nerds” thrown in to bring some forced diversity to the mix. One of them is a scrawny Asian who Pratt used to pick on. Pratt sees the reunion as a way to make up for the years of humiliation he dished out to the poor nerds. He just winds up causing more harm and I never thought I’d say it, but I wanted Chris Pratt to shut the hell up after his character was on screen for about two minutes. They go a tad overboard with his playful jock antics and the repetitiveness wears on ya.
While the ensemble is great, first time director Jamie Linden can’t seem to juggle all of their stories cohesively. All the guys arrive at the reunion together and go about their separate business. As all the stories progress, we never get to spend sufficient time with any of them – meaning I never gave a damn whether Tatum and Dawson got closure or Justin Long got laid.
The only story that feels alive is Oscar Isaac’s. He’s a rock star who used to be a band geek. At the reunion everyone keeps asking him for a photo or an autograph, but all he wants to do is get close to his old crush Kate Mara. They have some really nice, warm scenes together. Later on Isaac sings a song he helped write for the film. What a talented dude! I loved him in Drive and The Bourne Legacy, and he’s easily the standout in 10 Years.
The film has its moments, but in the end it’s just too much convention and not enough originality. The great ensemble makes it tolerable, but…okay, I guess what I’m really trying to say is that the high school reunion episode of King of Queens is a classic. It’s from season 9 and it’s the same one where Patton Oswalt reveals that he slept with the Spanish teacher and Jerry Stiller makes his daughter watch old movies. Man, what a great show.
Anchor Bay presents 10 Years in 2.35:1 widescreen. The DVD release features nine minutes of deleted scenes.
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars