Volume 94, Issue 48
Thursday, November 23, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Gwen and Ben get together to Bounce
Gazette File Photo
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Tony Goldwyn, Natasha Henstridge
Directed By: Don Roo
By Jenny Benincasa
Following their pairing in Shakespeare In Love, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow have bounced back with a new film. In Bounce, the duo play a couple brought together by unusual circumstances.
Affleck plays Buddy Amorol, an advertising executive stranded with Paltrow's husband during a flight delay. Upon departure, Buddy gives Paltrow's husband his ticket for the flight, which ultimately crashes and kills all on-board. Feeling at fault, Buddy locates the dead man's family to make amends.
Buddy then meets and falls in love with the man's widow, Abby (Paltrow), who falls in love with him, but doesn't know about Buddy's strange connection to her husband.
In light of their off-screen relationship, it's intriguing to see the chemistry Affleck and Paltrow bring to the big screen. They work well together by creating powerful chemistry as troubled lovers. However, the couple is unable to find a romantic flow as their relationship progresses through a series of painful stalls.
Throughout the film, much of what Abby shares with Buddy are memories of her marriage. This tendency leaves you wondering when Abby will let go of the past. In Bounce, Abby clings so firmly to the past that it almost seems like an unconscious obsession. Abby pursues Buddy, suggesting she is ready for a new relationship, yet the film counteracts this idea by characterizing Abby as emotionally unprepared for this new commitment.
Hardship in newfound love is commonplace and onscreen couples usually experience difficulty in gaining resolution. This film dashes optimistic hopes early, for its premise sets up a complicated situation with underlying conflict signifying the troubled relationship that ensues.
This makes it difficult to forget what hidden barrier exists between Buddy and Abby because his guilt and her memories serve to remind viewers about the death of Abby's husband at the film's start. The audience waits in anticipation for the relationship they've had such difficulty building, to fall apart.
Just when Abby has stopped talking about her husband long enough for the couple to share a truly meaningful date, all secrets are revealed. The film makes painfully obvious this encroaching revelation, but it is still disappointing when it occurs. It's clear the film doesn't support the idea of sustained secrecy, but instead, promotes the idea that the true test of love is how you face the truth.
Given the unusual circumstances that bring Paltrow and Affleck together, Bounce is worth seeing because of how the couple eventually work things out.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000