The Rebound

Bart Freundlich’s latest offering after the unimaginative “Trust The Man” is a transparent vehicle for Zeta-Jone’s career rehabilitation.
Sandy (Jones) is a housewife and mother of two who upon discovering her husband’s infidelity runs to New York in search of a second chance. Quickly finding an apartment and new research job, she also befriends Aram (Justin Bartha), a waiter in the nearby coffee shop. Hiring him as the children’s nanny, the close relationship he has with Sandy’s children develops into what Sandy may not have wanted but definitely needs.

Everything comes too easily for this woman, establishing herself within an emotional minute of leaving her husband. Jones’ inability to radiate any kind of personality or warmth both generally and towards her paramour makes it impossible not to wonder what it is that makes her so lucky, especially given she’ll leave her children with a relative stranger after a matter of days.

There is nothing wrong with a driven woman yet here all we see is a woman consumed by self-interest. In Chicago Jones proved she could transform this shortcoming (at least from the perspective of a 90 minute picture), this calculated persona she radiates at all times into something not only sexy and dangerous but funny and even likeable. Unfortunately this is evidently a trick she’s incapable of performing even a second time.

Bartha channels the sort of charisma that proves he is capable of such a lead role, appearing as an entirely different person to the needlessly billed cameo he is perhaps best known for.

Art Garfunkel as Aram’s father may have appeared to be a wonderful idea in theory but plays out rather uncomfortably, largely indicative of the supporting cast as a whole who are so wide-eyed it goes beyond merely poor direction and made me wonder if there should have been random drug testing on set.

A needless reliance on set-pieces that themselves offer little new in the way of content, the predominant image is not their personal relationship. Inevitably one must wonder how such a brief romance, especially one so one-sided.
Brisk in it’s introduction but not in length, the conclusion tries too hard to add something new to the genre does not go far enough in its remit instead settling on an uncomfortable rather than satisfactory.

Timing and the lack of a distinctive vision are the ultimate flaws with “The Rebound”. Too much is attempted in too small a window of time, a fact that Bartha cannot fight singlehandedly despite his best efforts.

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