You know those classic cheesy romantic comedies that every girl secretly loves? Well “10 Years” is essentially that, but it’s not as bad as you’d think.
When looking at its cast, which includes a plethora of recognizable faces in Hollywood, one might think it’s just another version of “Valentine’s Day.” In some aspects, that is true. But although its plot is pretty simple and even been done before, director Jamie Linden (“Dear John”) somehow makes this film very relatable and realistic to the audience. Essentially, we forget about its basic plot and focus more on the characters themselves.
The movie is about how a group of friends meeting up at their high school reunion, each fulfilling the typical stereotype that the average American high school holds. We have the school bully (Chris Pratt, “Parks and Recreation”), who wants to reach out and ask for forgiveness from his past victims; the popular flirty girl, Anna (Lynn Collins, “John Carter”), who is worshipped at every moment by two ex-arch rivals (Max Minghella, “The Ides of March” and Justin Long, “For a Good Time, Call…”); and the hip musician, Reeves (Oscar Isaac, “Drive”).
But what’s a high school reunion without a prom king and queen? These positions are filled with Jake (Channing Tatum, who plays a similar role to the one he took in “21 Jump Street”—apparently he’s very nostalgic about high school) and his high school sweetheart, Mary (Rosario Dawson, “Unstoppable”), whose dynamic relationship is the main focus of the film.
The issue is that Jake is currently in love with his current girlfriend, Jess (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, “Step Up”), but he does not know when to propose to her. So naturally, he brings her to a high school reunion where his ex-girlfriend will be. Discomfort is inevitable.
Since there are so many characters with subplots within this movie, some characters, like Scott Porter’s (“The Good Guy”) and Anthony Mackie’s (“Man on a Ledge”) are quickly forgotten while the audience yearns to know more about a select few. Perhaps the most intriguing relationship was between Reeves, the local musician who is now a popular rock star and Elise (Kate Mara, “127 Hours”), who once “had a moment in the parking lot” back in high school.
But don’t let all this mushy love stuff fool you. There are plenty of drunken escapades and “bromantic” scenes that definitely open up the door for the testosterone demographic. Many of these scenes involved Pratt, who plays a very similar character in “Parks and Recreation.” Despite all his flaws and obnoxious mannerisms, the audience cannot help but love him. Unfortunately, not the same can be said of his wife.
Also from “Park and Recreations” is his co-star, Aubrey Plaza. Plaza plays Olivia, who accompanies her husband, Garrity (Brian Geraghty, “The Hurt Locker”) for support. Plaza is her usual quirky self and definitely brings the comic relief to the film.
The tone of the film is relaxed yet awkward, perfectly capturing the essence of a high school reunion. Through the various characters, the audience is able to comprehend that the (somewhat obvious) lesson of this film is that you can’t live in the past. Who knew high school reunions could be so deep?