Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Review: 35 and Ticking

35 and Ticking (2011)

Director: Russ Parr
Producer: Russ Parr, Kym Whitley
Release date: May 20, 2011
Running time: 108 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: R

Centering around the lives of Victoria, Zenobia , Cleavon, and Phil -- all friends approaching the age of 35 and struggling to build the families they've always dreamed of. While Zenobia (Nicole Ari Parker) is still looking for a man, Victoria (Tamala Jones) is married to a man who doesn't want children. Cleavon (Kevin Hart), meanwhile, is too geeky to get a woman, and Phil (Keith Robinson) is already married with children, but his wife is not very interested in being a mother. All four of them try to rectify their romantic lives and futures while their biological clocks tick away. (Source)

Movie Tags: Romantic Comedy, Emotional, Goofy, Sentimental

Note: There are some adult situations and context. Please note the R rating.

This film was surprising. I personally feel that the blub that I read was not descriptive, going in I didn't know what to expect. (I made sure to find the better one for my review.) That said, I'm happy with what I found, however there are some flaws and pit falls along the way.

We follow four friends, two of who are struggling to keep their marriages and to keep their romance alive, one maybe more than the other but each struggling in their own way. The other two are single with no prospects in sight, still looking for love at the age of 35 and 37 (I believe).

I'd like to address the matter of the main characters age first because it plays a major role in all aspects of the movie. I bring that up because I find that stories with older characters lead to very different types of storytelling, it's only natural. The characters are more open and honestly, they aren't afraid to tell it like it is because they're done playing games and having everyone running around. They want a real relationship and aren't shy to voicing it, which usually leads to hilarity in many situations.

Since this movie follows four different characters I wanted to give each one a small introduction and my feelings on their story before giving an overall opinion.

Zenobia (37) is a sports anchor who hasn't met the right man yet or a man worth her time. She's very quick to judge and pass people over, while I consider it to be a major flaw it comes with her job. It's difficult for her to meet new people when most of them already know who she is because of her show. She wants someone that will take enough time to see her as the person she is and not just someone who's on TV.
I found Zenobia to be a typical hard-working women to put her career first and didn't think much of a relationships only to look in the mirror and go "I want a life beyond my work" and have no idea how she got where she is or how to go about changing that. The story was a bit typical but had some seriously hilarious moments.
In the beginning Zenobia is easily set as the main character but quickly become over-shadowed having her story thrown to the back burner as other characters stories begin to play out.

Victoria (37) is married to a hard-working responsible man and in a fairly stable place in life. Through the struggles of Zenobia, Victoria realizes she's ready to start a family, although not completely supported by her husband in the decision.
I found Victoria's story to be the one without a lot going on. There's a few major conflicts but overall not much happens with her. She appears once in awhile and then doesn't show up, dealing with her own things.
Overall I felt she didn't have the best story. I wasn't interested in the conflict or resolve as much as the others. She was a great friend to have when they needed her but she wasn't around most of the time.

Phil (35?) is working himself to the bone. Between juggling two kids and a wife that is never around to help out or spend time with him and their family, along with having to provide for all of them. From the beginning there's conflict in his marriage and between how their group feels about it, mostly his wife.
I liked Phil's story the most. It's one of those moments when you see a man that is honestly trying his hardest to make life, family, and love work. He's trying to balance and juggle everything, but somehow usually ends up with life handing him the short end of the stick.

Cleavon (35) is a lazy-bum. He's never had a 'real job' or stood on his own two feet. He slid by for most of his life and doesn't have interest in doing any more. Celvon not a smooth talker or a cool guy, that's putting it lightly! He is awkward and shy to the extreme. Always always finding himself in awkward situations with his foot in his mouth. And yet he tries, oh does he try.
His story is by far the funnies and raunchiest, the entire reason this has an R rating, which I found to be more hilarious than anything else
He's a typical guy, set in his ways and bound to make an idiot out of himself. He's generally considered to be the 'little kid' of the group often pushed into something by the rest of them, to then have them hover to see how it works out. (Don't you hate it when your friends do that?!)
About half way in I felt Cleavon became more of a major player in the overall story. In the beginning he's there for comic relief but over time he enters the spot-light and begins to try and find himself.

The biggest grip I have about this movie is transition scenes. I found more than a few of them to be very weak. The reasoning or drive behind a situation or a character [sudden] actions was full of holes. I felt these weak moments were usually setup in order to lead to a more important or dramatic scene. Leaving me to be semi-understandable in that sense.

As I'm sure it's clearly obvious by now, I enjoyed the comedy here. On occasion it was hit and miss but mostly hit. I found myself laughing more than I ever expected to and enjoyed watching awkward situations play out. There are a few subtle sign of following stereotypes which I felt it was for comic relief and faded once you got hooked into the stories.
I also love the element of tie-in. While each of the four friends have their very different lives, at the end of the day they find themselves relying on each other. Sometimes more than I felt most [real] people would admit to. It's an amazing thing to know no matter how terrible your day is a friend to comfort you, let you try on their shoulder, or just listen; is a phone call away. Again I feel this comes form the difference of age. They're friendships have lasted this long, why would they suddenly stop?

There's a little bad but mostly good. Some flaws are a little harder to over look than others but overall I still enjoyed this movie.
Easily said, might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Recommend: If you enjoy emotional family drama, romance, quirkiness, and comedy.

No comments:

Post a Comment