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Buddy (Ben Affleck)
Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow)
Mimi (Natasha Henstridge)
Greg (Tony Goldwyn)
Buddy’s Secretary (Johnny Galecki)

Written and Directed by Don Roos

Rated PG-13 for some language and sensuality
Running Time: 102 minutes Distributed by Miramax
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Bounce is an enjoyable character-driven romantic tale. The film opens with Buddy Amaral (Affleck), an advertiser that is also an alcoholic awaiting a plane that is delayed at O’Hare airport. In the airport bar, Buddy meets Greg (Goldwyn), a failed playwright, and Mimi, a beautiful businesswoman, whose planes are also delayed. Buddy is surprisingly placed on a flight to Los Angeles, however, he rather spend the night with Mimi than on a long flight back home. Knowing that Greg needs to get back to his wife and kids in Los Angeles, Buddy gives Greg his ticket and tells him he will catch a later flight. A few hours later, Buddy finds out the plane that he was supposed to be on that Greg boarded crashed and everyone on board was killed. Across the country in the Los Angeles, Greg’s sweet wife, Abby (Paltrow), and his children receive the news of Greg’s death. One year later, Buddy decides to look up Abby in Los Angeles. Unknowing of Buddy’s earlier encounters with her late husband, Abby begins seeing the young advertiser. However, as the relationship grows more and more, Buddy searches for a solution to his decision to continue seeing Abby and how to tell her the truth about Greg.

Bounce is one of the better romantic films to come out in years. The reason is because its characters are real-life people that aren’t cradled into a mush of melodrama.

The film was written and directed by Don Roos. His only previous screen credit is the dark comedy The Opposite of Sex. Roos creates deep characters to enhance his script with. Abby and Buddy are common people with common problems, which is why I could relate more closely with them instead of couples in films like Autumn in New York. Roos also doesn’t take long to develop the characters, even the character of Greg, who is on the screen for less than 10 minutes and serves mostly as an antagonist of the film. Roos just delivers a romantic drama that works and is believable. His direction is steady and bold as well. One example is that his love scenes in the film don’t drag on forever like in most romances.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck are wonderfully benevolent as Abby and Buddy. The two create a firm connection of feeling off each other’s acting choices in the film. I will admit that I was hesitant about these two actors together because of their real-life relationship. However, I take what I have said about them back and admit that their relationship helped create their effective on screen chemistry. Johnny Galecki also turns in an admirable performance as Buddy’s secretary who use to be an alcoholic.

I liked Bounce a lot. I thought the storyline was workable, but most of all the characters were real, as were the actors. Don Roos is a good storyteller and I hope he works on many more projects in the future.

Report Card Grade: B+

Beastman’s Movie Reviews
Copyright, 2000 Joseph C. Tucker

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