Thoughts on ‘Aloha’ from a Cameron Crowe fan

Cameron Crowe is my hero. He’s amazing. He’s a journalist, a music fan, and an excellent writer. But everyone has their bad days. Even Cam.

Last week probably wasn’t Crowe’s favorite. His new romantic comedy “Aloha” with Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone came out on Friday and was accompanied by terrible reviews by basically everyone. That didn’t stop me from going to see it, of course.

Crowe has written some of my favorite movies of all time, including “Almost Famous,” so I didn’t want to be mad at him. I didn’t want to be disappointed. I went into the theater with an open mind and heart. And you know what? “Aloha” wasn’t THAT bad.

I’m not being biased here, I swear. The film had it’s redeeming Crowe-like qualities.

The things that are really off come from the dialogue and actual plot line. I didn’t realize what was happening until about a third into the film. The plot of stringing together Hawaiian culture and space exploration from civilians was hard to grasp. Bill Murray was adorable but his character threw everything off. And who was Alec Baldwin? And why wasn’t there more Danny McBride? Because his a baby named Don joke was too beautiful for this world.

It’s one of those films you have to watch a second time to make sure you got it. I’ve done that with “Jerry Maguire” several times. I think I got “Aloha,” but I may need a second watch just to make sure.

And, yes. Emma Stone is in no way convincing as an Asian-American. We all get that. I don’t have to rant about the present race issues. It’s already all over the Internet. It’s hard to overlook when it’s in a film that seems to want to celebrate Hawaiian culture.

But for all those issues, there may still be some good. I thought Cooper and Stone were good together. I wanted to see even more of them interacting. This is a film, not a Disney movie that has to be under 90 minutes to keep children’s attention. It went by too fast. As with every Crowe movie, I wanted more. We need a director’s cut because we know he filmed much more than Sony let him show.

And there may lie the other problem with “Aloha.” It’s well documented that Sony didn’t like the film from the start and made Crowe change a lot of things with it. But, and I’m assuming here, all that cutting and notes probably got pushed aside when “The Interview” disaster happened. And then the head of Sony was let go. And then they were worried about money and no one wanted to pay attention to the more artistic type of effort by Crowe. Just a guess.

What does work with “Aloha” is the lovable characters and the music that moves the story along. Because we all know that Crowe knows how to utilize music best.

I’m not disappointed in “Aloha.” I’m only disappointed in the circumstances around it. A May release date. Little to no press touring done for it (during a week when Letterman is gone and other talk shows were taking a break no less). Not enough emphasis on the fact that Crowe is an Oscar winner and known for much more things than that Jerry character. The lack of faith in a film that’s about storytelling, not Marvel character blowing things up.

If you haven’t seen “Aloha” yet, please do. Give it a chance. Take a break from the action movies and whatever else you’re going to be seeing this summer. Go see a film with an attempt at heart. Even if it’s a bit harder to find. After all, a good movie makes you think.

And if you don’t know Cameron Crowe, watch this. It will explain everything you need to know about Crowe and possibly about life. But again, that’s just me guessing.

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