ROMANTIC COMEDY; 1hr 45min
STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin
Roger that! Cooper and Stone
Maybe it’s the chilled Hawaiian locale or because they’re in such caring hands but the cast of writer-director Cameron Crowe’s latest warm fuzzy is pretty much in relaxo mode. Even Cooper’s tight-wound defence contractor, Brian Gilcrest, a man with a fair bit on his mind, keeps his moves mostly low key.
Fallen high-flier Brian is in Hawaii to prove himself by oiling the wheels of a game-changing deal for his billionaire employer (Murray). Brian’s official job is to launch a weapons satellite. Really, though, he’s there to fall for the sparky US Air Force captain (Stone as Allison Ng) appointed to look after him, revisit his pretty, unsteadily married-with-children ex, Tracy (McAdams), and come face to face with his own shaky ethical foundation.
That’s a whopping score for any troubleshooter to settle and after a perplexingly lacklustre start, Cooper and Co. begin to find their feet, with committed optimist Crowe steering them through contentious issues at his customary mellow slant. The pay-off doesn’t pack the lucid, love-bomb punch of Jerry Maguire or Almost Famous, alas. But stay the breezy course and you’ll still wind up barracking for Brian.