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With: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, Aaron Yoo, Kate Mara, Lynn Collins, Anthony Mackie, Rosario Dawson, Ron Livingston, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Scott Lumpkin Jr., Lily Lumpkin, Scott Porter, Eiko Nijo, Mike Miller, Brian Geraghty, Kelly Noonan
Written by: Jamie Linden
Directed by: Jamie Linden
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, alcohol abuse, some sexual material and drug use
Running Time: 100
Date: 09/01/2011

10 Years (2012)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Reunion Revelations

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I happened to go to my own high school reunion just weeks before seeing 10 Years. Mine had a few more years attached to it, but it had the same dynamic. You want to return, making all those people from that awkward time of life think that you're a success, and maybe fulfill that old-time romantic longing for some forgotten high school flame. But none of that really happens. The only thing that actually does happen is that the jock that once picked on you buys you a drink.

In any case, my emotional commitment to this movie was much higher than most normal viewers' might be -- and I still found it to be mostly facile and routine, though not without its good parts. So if you haven't actually been to a high school reunion recently, don't bother to see this. But if you have, check it out and remember that it's a pure fantasy.

Channing Tatum, who, this year, has suddenly become an interesting actor rather than a lump of pretty-boy flesh, could be the lead, though it's really an ensemble. He plays Jake, who is dating the gorgeous Jess (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Channing's real-life wife). Yet he still can't stop thinking about his high school sweetheart Mary (Rosario Dawson). Jake has a pretty decent character arc, wherein he sees Mary, speaks to her, and realizes that fantasy romance is no match for real life.

In other, less interesting subplots, two idiots, Marty (Justin Long) and A.J. (Max Minghella) become fascinated with the gorgeous Anna (Lynn Collins), and unexpectedly learn what her real life is like, rather than the glorious party girl that made an appearance at the reunion.

Ari Graynor plays Sam, who realizes that she is married to the school asshole, Cully (Chris Pratt); he spends the entire reunion getting smashed and trying to make it up to all the nerds he once picked on. He only makes it worse.

Moving down the ranks, Garrity (Brian Geraghty) brings his girlfriend Olivia (Aubrey Plaza) to the reunion, and she learns that he liked to act "black" in high school, complete with break dancing. The character arc goes like this: she thinks it's weird, and then she accepts it. Yawn.

Finally, and least of all, we have Reeves (Oscar Isaac), who has become an actual pop star and for some reason comes back to his reunion. He plays his hit song for his fellow students, and a long-lost crush (Kate Mara) learns that the song was written for her.

Perhaps even worse, the talented Anthony Mackie plays the school's token black character who has no story arc at all, except that he once tried to settle down with someone and "it didn't take."

Writer and director Jamie Linden has two other major screenplay credits, both of them among the worst movies of the past decade: We Are Marshall (2006) and Dear John (2010). Thankfully, this one isn't that bad. At least, in making his directorial debut, Linden has drawn a talented and attractive cast.

He also makes a wise decision by having his cast drinking and/or drunk throughout the entire movie. The audience would do well to do the same.

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