He Said She Said at the Movies: Labor Day Review - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

He Said She Said at the Movies: Labor Day Review

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HE SAID:

Let me start out by saying "Labor Day" has received some pretty vicious reviews. I found it to be pleasant, but forgettable. I've certainly seen worse in 2014 alone (i.e. "I, Frankenstein"). The movie tells the story of a depressed mother, played wonderfully by Kate Winslet, who is struggling to find happiness after her husband left her. She has full custody of her son, Henry, who does his very best to take care of his mother. However, it's clear his mother is longing for a man around the house. Then, an escaped convict played by Josh Brolin steps in and asks (more like demands) that he stay with the family so he can lay low from police.  He ends up staying the entire Labor Day weekend, and I'm pretty sure based on the trailer alone you can tell where this thing is going.

The performances are great throughout, but I found the pacing to be a little slow and the plot is extremely predictable. I could watch Kate Winslet in any movie, and she probably elevates "Labor Day" to a level it has no business reaching. It has a melodramatic, soap opera-like plot, but I do think Jason Reitman's direction is pretty solid. It feels like a passion project, and I can respect Reitman wanting to direct something a little different. While I don't think it's a successful movie overall, it's hard to argue that Jason Reitman hasn't made attempts to challenge himself across a number of different genres. However, I would say RENT IT on this one. It's not worth a trip to the theater, but could provide a decent detour from everyday life for people looking to rent a movie with a pair of great actors.



SHE SAID:

I want to start by saying “Labor Day” is not a terrible movie at all.  It’s interesting, it kept my complete attention throughout the film, and to some extent it kept me guessing what was going to happen next.  However, with that said—it was also not one of the most interesting or exciting movies I have ever seen.  I feel it has the bare minimum of what I would define as an okay or decent movie. 

I don’t think (or at least I hope I’m not) spoiling the plot for anyone—but it is kind of a bizarre plot.  It all starts when a man recently escaped from prison (Josh Brolin) forces himself into the car with a woman (Kate Winslet) and her 13 year old son (Gattlin Griffith).   It’s a plot that is really difficult to believe.  It feels almost as if the creator took a Nicholas Sparks story, with a dark themed plot (i.e. Safe Haven), took all the pieces apart and tried to rework it to become Labor Day.  But it just doesn’t fit exactly right.  I would suggest this movie as a matinee—it was decent, but I wouldn’t want to waste a Friday or Saturday night going to see it.
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