When a film-making team needs to resort to poopy-mouth and low-brow sexual humor to get your attention, it means the idea well runneth dry. I guess in the case of The Rebound, it actually makes sense: they needed lots of penis talk and a reference to a texted image of a kid’s two-foot bowel movement to try to distract the viewer from feeling cheated for sitting through banal truisms, stock characterization, and a disjointed, implausible plot.
Sandy (Catherine-Zeta Jones) is a raven-haired, Stanford-educated, forty-something who flees her suburban life and moves to the city with her two foul-mouthed, bratty kids after discovering a video of her husband porking her best friend in her kitchen. Aram Finkelstein (Justin Bartha) is a whiny twenty-five-year-old hopeless romantic (Vassar-educated—how’s that for irritatingly ironic?) with a pointy computer-nerd face that always seems as though it’s snivelingly apologizing.
A match made in heaven? Yeah, right.
Not that there’s anything inherently odd about a relationship between a cougar and a prime-of-life male. But here we’re talking one who still lives with his parents, recently was forced into a divorce by a French bimbo who used him to get a green card, works in the coffee shop downstairs from where Sandy rooms, and becomes a nanny for her two little snot-nosed monsters as Sandy ascends the career ladder at the sportscasting company where she works. To top it all off, Aram happens to also work as the human punching bag for a woman’s support group that Sandy attends. It’s gender role reversal and would-be cleverly ironic plot twists taken too far—implausible with a capital I. In the words of Stifler from American Pie, this guy really needs to get his balls reattached. After watching this movie, any halfway normal woman would snarf her drink if you suggested that she date this guy.
The characters’ lines themselves speak for how painfully obvious and generally uninspired this film is. If you want to hear verbal fodder like “We’re roller coasting” and “This is big—really big,” then you might enjoy it after all.
Joe’s Grade: D