Monday, March 21, 2016

Invisible Sister (2015)

Number Rolled: 64
Movie Name/Year: Invisible Sister (2015)
Tagline: What you see is only half the story.
Genre: Family
Length: 77 minutes
Rating: TV-G
Production Companies: Disney Channel
Producer: Susan Cartsonis, Michael C. Cuddy, Sheri Singer
Director: Paul Hoen
Writer: Billy Eddy, Matt Eddy, Jessica O’Toole, Amy Rardin, Beatrice Colin, Sara Pinto
Actors: Rowan Blanchard, Paris Berelc, Karan Brar, Rachel Crow, Austin Fryberger, Will Meyers, Alex Désert, Scott Reeves, Jennifer Jalene, Nikki Fuega, Tiffany Forest, Sean Maurer

Blurb from Netflix: When she tries to impress a science teacher with an ambitious experiment, a teen renders her sister invisible, forcing her to impersonate her sibling.

Selina’s Point of View:
My interest in seeing this film comes from the star, Rowan Blanchard (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D, Little in Common, Dance-A-Lot Robot).

I was a huge fan of Boy Meets World (1993-2000) once upon a time. Naturally, when it was revisited by Disney as Girl Meets World (2014-) I was on it like white on rice. I recorded every episode and watched them with my best friend. He tends to watch it with me because I’m a walking encyclopedia of anything Cory and Topanga related and I can point out the references most people miss.

Speaking of, Alex Désert (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Losing in Love, Let it Shine) was in this film. He also starred as Mr. Eli Williams, a teacher at Cory’s school, during season 3 of Boy Meets World.

Blanchard is a familiar face on Girl Meets World. There she plays Riley, the daughter of Cory and Topanga. On the show, I find her acting talent measures up to Ben Savage (Car Babes, Swimming Upstream, The Caterpillar’s Kimono) in the beginning years of Boy Meets World: slightly over-the-top but promising.

When I found out she was recently in a new movie by Disney, I wanted to see if that talent carried over into another, hopefully different, character.

The character was very different than Riley. So I did get to see her in a slightly new vehicle, which was nice. Better yet, I think she was phenomenal.

Blanchard has a way with emotional scenes. I don’t know if it’s because she’s dipping into some innate empathy she may have, or because she’s just that promising of a talent, but it’s true. You make her cry or express a deep emotion in a scene, and she is going to blow everyone away. She’s not perfect, of course, and she is very young.

At 14-years-old, this young actress has a lot to learn. She could especially use some practice in the more physical scenes (physical comedy, sports, etc), but the talent is there.

I think, as long as she doesn’t fall to the curse of child actors, Blanchard could have a potentially epic career ahead of her.

The movie itself was nothing too special. I didn’t much like the other star, Paris Berelc (Lab Rats: Elite Force, Mighty Med, Health Corner). I don’t have any familiarity at all with her, though. So it could be a one-time flop for her.

In the end, this was your basic Disney TV movie. Not really for my generation. I bet preteens and young teenagers, however, would love it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was excited when this movie came up, because it was the first in a while that I could share with my kiddo. The Disney XD channel is one of her favorites, so she recognized the actors, and even got all bouncy because she remembered seeing the previews. She’d just missed it when it aired. (So did I, but there’s only so much of that channel I can take.)

The movie was adorable, and resonating. I think everyone can relate to feeling invisible every once in a while. It doesn’t even have to be at home – there are plenty situations ‘out in the world’ where it happens, too. You don’t have to be part of a big family, either, to get that invisible feeling.

This film definitely wasn’t all fluff. For that reason, it didn’t surprise me that it was drawing on a novel. I might just hunt it up for my daughter to read. (OK, maybe me too.)

I enjoyed the science teacher angle in the story.  There’s a fun bit of trivia regarding that actor, as well. In fun “six degrees” fashion; Alex Désert (Bob Funk, Let it Shine!, The LeBrons) played teacher Eli Williams on the 90’s family sitcom, Boy Meets World (1993-2000). 

The star of this film, Rowan Blanchard (The Back-Up Plan, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, Best Friends Whenever), just happens to also be one of the stars of Boy Meets World’s sequel - Girl Meets World (2014-).

Fun facts aside, I think they did a great job with casting this one. Blanchard and her on-screen sister, Paris Berelc (Health Corner, Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force), have good sibling chemistry. The dynamic between Blanchard’s character, Chloe; and her guy BFF, George, played by Karan Brar (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Chilly Christmas, Jessie) was lots of fun.

I won’t lie. There were a few plot holes, but I don’t think they ultimately took away from the story.

If you’re looking for a cute family movie, this one has the right formula!

(It also has two thumbs up from my in-house Disney fanatic.)

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score 3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. Some repeat scenes during the credits. It is also based on a novel, “My Invisible Sister,” by Beatrice Colin and Sara Pinto.

Movie Trailer:

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