Review: Literally, Right Before Aaron

Literally, Right Before Aaron
7 10

PLOT: A man finds out his ex-girlfriend, the love of his life, is getting re-married when he is surprisingly invited to the wedding.

REVIEW: LITERALLY, RIGHT BEFORE AARON is not the kind of movie I think of myself as appreciating. It's the sort of cliched indie romantic comedy we seem to have been inundated with a dozen times a year since the 90s: A dopey guy in his 30s is still pining after the one that got away when he is devastated to learn she's getting married after only a year of being single. Worse yet, he's just been invited to the wedding! What's a fellow to do in such an uncomfortable situation? Hopefully not make an ass out of himself!

Plot-wise, the movie is pretty paint-by-the-numbers (I don't even want to talk about the title), but as it went on I was surprised to find myself smiling a lot, occasionally laughing too. Actor Ryan Eggold (a regular on The Blacklist) makes his feature writing and directing debut here and he proves to be rather adept at milking cheeky laughs out of what are usually predictable situations. I think it's because the movie is a little left of center in its humor; rather than attempt to be boringly realistic, Eggold tries some off-the-wall stuff here and mostly succeeds. A lot of the supporting characters are a little screwy and steal moments away from the leads. Also, Eggold has cast the movie quite well, so he's able to let the majority of his talented cast dig in on his material.

Literally Right Before Aaron review Justin Long Cobie Smulders

Justin Long stars as Adam, the poor schmuck who can't get over his breakup with Allison (Cobie Smulders), who of course is the quintessential dream girl. And, of course, the guy she's marrying (Ryan Hansen) is Mr. Perfect while still kind of being a dick, someone Adam can't stand. The entirety of the movie is Adam attempting to navigate this situation with minimal embarrassment. He wants to act happy for Allison and put on a good, "I don't miss you at all" face, but naturally all he does is pine for her while rubbing all of her new friends the wrong way. Everyone pities Adam against his will or regards him with condescending amusement, even his own mother (Lea Thompson, looking gorgeous). The main question as the clock ticks down is whether or not Adam will conjure up the nerve to say something meaningful to Allison before the big day, or if he'll let her slip through his fingers forever.

LITERALLY, RIGHT BEFORE AARON succeeds in keeping us engaged in Adam's plight by populating the film with a very game cast, including the likes of John Cho, Luis Guzman, Kristen Schaal and Peter Gallagher, who has a very funny turn as a pretentious nature show host. Long can always be counted upon to play this nice guy part well, and Smulders is charming as ever, even if her role isn't exactly fleshed-out. In plenty of ways, this movie is still exactly what you expect it to be, and that includes a female lead whose main job is to look amazing and exist solely to be the main character's obsession.

But this isn't a movie that is meant to redefine the genre or blow your mind with hilarity. It is a pleasant comedy with enough charm and winning performances to keep you invested in what usually is a stale sub-genre. It's a cute date night movie and sometimes that's all you need.

Source: JoBlo.com



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