Hollywood director Cameron Crowe calls his new movie entitled ALOHA, a “love letter to Hawaii,” but the movie is not receiving much “aloha” in return. Some people say that Crowe had no right to use that word for his title, and a majority of the nation’s critics are giving the film negative reviews.
But I think most audiences will enjoy it.
First of all, nobody should judge a movie by its title. So I’ll leave the controversy over the title to other people. The actual movie called ALOHA is a sweet, funny, well acted, and sometimes touching romantic comedy about a man caught between a former girlfriend and a potential new partner. Its biggest problem is an overly complicated, rather preposterous side story that too often takes us away from the entertaining romantic triangle.
Bradley Cooper stars as Brian Gilcrest, a defense contractor who’s hoping for a career comeback in Hawaii where he lived years before. The romantic complications begin right away.
Emma Stone plays Allison Ng, an overly eager Air Force pilot who’s assigned to work with Brian. Rachel McAdams is Tracy Woodside, his former girlfriend who’s now married with children.
Brian (at a coffee bar, ordering): A double expresso.
Allison (walking up): Good morning sir. I’m so jacked for today.
Brian: Make that a triple.
Brian accepts a dinner invitation from his old flame, and you can see their chemistry is still there.
Brian: I don’t even remember why we broke up.
Tracy: Because you’re a workaholic who creates work to avoid real work.
Brian: Well, I’m still working on that.
Tracy: You wrecked everything and I put my life back together. In spite of you.
Meanwhile, Allison is getting under Brian’s skin.
Allison: I mean I know your ex-wife gave you the heave a year ago.
Brian: Hey, that would be off limits repartee for us, Captain.
Allison: Boy, did she blow it….if I may. You have to know that.
The unnecessarily complicated plot does have a bonus for Hawaii audiences who get to see Bumpy Kanahele playing himself, a Hawaiian leader Brian must negotiate with for permission to use some land. And Allison (who claims to be one quarter Hawaiian) gets to play music with a group of Hawaiians.
Bill Murray plays Brian’s billionaire boss, a delightfully eccentric villain who’s trying to launch a satellite that’s secretly armed with nuclear weapons. Surely, Brian won’t help him do that… will he?
I’m not claiming that ALOHA is anywhere near the quality of the director’s big hits like JERRY MCGUIRE , ALMOST FAMOUS, and SAY ANYTHING, but this movie does have likable characters, smart dialog, and plenty of great music in the soundtrack. Plus, it’s about something we all want when we make major mistakes: a second chance.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.