Aloha, the latest film from Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Elizabethtown), features a tag line that reads: “You must say goodbye before you say hello.”
While I certainly love a good Beatles reference, unfortunately Aloha refrains from saying anything at all — whether that be goodbye or hello. Much like the film’s trailer, Crowe’s latest cinematic piece has absolutely no direction. Which is a true shame seeing how the film boasts a stellar cast, setting and soundtrack.
The film loosely recounts the story of Brian (Bradley Cooper), a former soldier who was brutally injured during his last deployment in Afghanistan. Brian returns home to Hawaii as part of a secret mission to help launch a new weapons satellite. A lively, high-strung young captain (Emma Stone) is assigned to help Brian with his operation and of course he falls for the captain. Now throw in Brian’s ex-girlfriend and Bill Murray and you have yourself what would appear to be an entertaining romantic comedy.
Unfortunately, Aloha is hardly romantic and the comedic moments are a result of the actors, not Crowe’s storytelling. The film simply has one problem; there is far too much going on. While Aloha could have been a promising drama or comedy, it is not both, even though it certainly tries to be. Ironically enough the film features wonderful cast. Each of the actors solidified their talent as they managed to breathe a little bit of life into an otherwise lifeless story. But, please note that I said “a little.”
Bradley Cooper maintains the charm and likeability that he has come to be known for. Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, The Vow) plays the beautiful love interest, except unlike most of the actresses’ films, her character, Tracy, is the former love interest, not the current. But, naturally she portrays the character with grace and ease and she and Cooper do have a few poignant moments. John Krasinski (The Office) portrays Woody, Tracy’s new found love and while he says very little throughout the film, he does play nicely with Cooper. Bill Murray shines per usual as wealthy businessman, Carson Welch and Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) provides a fair amount of comic relief as General Dixon. The highlight of the film (and I say that loosely) was Emma Stone’s charming performance as Air Force captain, Allison Ng.
Unfortunately, Stone and Cooper make for an unbelievable romantic couple, and I would have preferred to see more between he and McAdams. As I have established, the film lacks direction and without Stone and perhaps Baldwin the film would have been absolute nonsense.
As I was watching the film I sadly only maintained two feelings and thoughts: “Damn, I need to visit Hawaii” and “This is a great soundtrack.” Because, the wide shots and aerial views of Hawaii are stunning and the film’s soundtrack, which features Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Josh Ritter is certainly worth purchasing. With a star-studded cast, a famed director and a unique story, it’s a shame that those are the only two thoughts I had besides, “Is it over yet?”
Aloha Rating: 4 out of 10
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.comand nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com