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Aloha (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 105 minutes.

OK for children.

How could you go wrong with a film that has Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone for the guys and Bradley Cooper for the gals, set in Hawaii? This film stands as a prime answer to that question.

Letís start with the last first. About the only reason I sometimes watch the TV show Hawaii-50 is for the spectacular Hawaiian scenery. The filmmakers make sure to insert lots of stunning scenic vistas that make sitting through the flimsy stories almost worth it.

But writer/producer/director Cameron Crowe has such washed out scenes of Hawaii it might as well have been filmed in Needles. After a very short period you forget that itís set in Hawaii. BTW, Crowe appeared personally at the only All Media screening of the film and said a few words promoting the film, an almost unprecedented occurrence.

Then thereís the story. Itís something about a private contractor (Bill Murray) who wants to launch a satellite (we learn that late in the film) and has hired Bradley Cooper to do it, even though heís a noted screw-up that nobody likes (except the two sexy gals). That story generally makes little or no sense at all. In fact, I might as well say it; itís ridiculous.

Finally, we have Cooper and his relationships with McAdams and Stone. Thatís a little better. Had Crowe just concentrated on that story and forgotten about the entrepreneur-satellite story, this would have been a little better (but not much).

The cinematography of the three stars is very good. All look enormously sexy (Iím guessing that Cooper looks sexy because Iím not a very good judge of that, especially when Iím spending most of my time looking at Stone and McAdams, and take my word for it, they look delectable).

But the best performance in the film is by Danielle Rose Russell, who plays Grace, McAdamsí daughter. Her performance at the end of the film should qualify her for an Oscarģ nomination. Alas, even with the three gorgeous stars, thatís not enough to justify the price of admission.