Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Carolina (2003)

Number Rolled: 1
Movie Name/Year: Carolina (2003)
Genre: Romance
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Marleen Gorris
Writer: Katherine Fugate
Actors: Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine, Alessandro Nivola, Randy Quaid, Edward Atterton, Azura Skye, Mika Boorem, Jennifer Coolidge, Alan Thicke

Carolina is the eldest of two sisters raised by her grandmother. Dreaming of getting out of her ‘white trash’ life with the family, Carolina gets a job in television and attempts to throw herself into a world different from what she grew up with. With her best friend, Albert, by her side, she faces a difficult dating record, job woes and the ever-present embarrassment from her family.

Pretty much every single step of this movie is predictable. At least, the main plot points are. As soon as the movie begins, the viewer knows exactly what direction the romance aspect of the film will take and, after meeting the family of the main character, the drama becomes paint-by-number as well. What made me enjoy the film were the parts between the major aspects. Between the script, the character development, and the acting, I not only found the movie watchable, I found it highly enjoyable. Not every movie is going to break new ground and Carolina doesn’t even try. However, it traveled its well used road in an interesting and enthralling way.

Julia Stiles sold me her slightly messed up, doormat of a character really well and Shirley MacLaine is – simply put – a pro. MacLaine could pretty much rock any role thrown her way, even this eccentric, meddling, lower class, loving, grandmother.

Carolina does its best to be honest, and it succeeds for most of the movie. I’m having some trouble getting past the ending, though. It felt rushed. It was as though the director knew she was running out of time and just forgot to film a few scenes.

With the flaws and merits both taken into account, I still really liked this movie. Funny, sweet, kind of embarrassing and down-to-earth, I’ll likely watch Carolina again in the future.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

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