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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 28, 2009
Film review
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The Rebound
October 28, 2009 By Witold Żygulski   
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Sandy (Catherine Zeta Jones-Chicago, Traffic) is a housewife and the mother of two small children. One day she sits at her computer editing a video film from her son's birthday and suddenly her life falls apart when she sees her husband caught on camera in the kitchen indulging in a sexual act that once made headlines, courtesy of an American president and his intern. Shocked, Sandy files for divorce, takes the children with her and heads for New York City to start a new life.

Sandy is a sports fan. Having spent several years at home with the kids watching sports broadcasts, she has an impressive range of sporting facts and figures at her fingertips. This lands her a job with a TV station where she gets quickly promoted. The only thing that's still missing is Mr. Right.

Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha-National Treasure, The Hangover) is a 25-year-old divorcee whose French ex-wife married him to get a Green Card. Aram has recently graduated from college and his parents are pestering him to start a career in business, but he opts for less complicated and less stressful strategies, working at a cafe or at a part-time job as a sparring partner cum punchbag in women's self-defense classes. This is how he meets Sandy who, by way of saying "hello," beats the living daylights out of him, as instructed by a coach who tells her students to free their inner angry child. That first encounter leads to romance, but the path to true love is not necessarily sweetness and roses, especially when Aram gets a job as a babysitter for Sandy's kids.

One of the very few good things about this movie is the acting by Zeta Jones and Bartha. The pair are instantly likable and while Zeta Jones reprises her role from No Reservations by Scott Hicks (2007), she nevertheless creates a character you root for. Bartha, in turn, is satisfyingly clumsy and candid as an inexperienced young man conducting a romance with a considerably older partner. Even if the nine-year age difference between the actors does not really show on screen, which makes it hard to believe Sandy is 15 years older than Aram.

The most revolting thing about The Rebound is a landslide of toilet humor. When Sandy goes on a rather unfortunate date with a chiropractor, the main prop is a portable street toilet and... let me spare you the details, but take my word for it, you may feel sick if you are the sensitive sort. Being vomited on is an occupational hazard in Aram's baby-sitting job. And the audience is not spared any detail. Meanwhile, a romantic text message Sandy receives from Aram contains the appetizing news that her son has defecated a whopping 60-centimeter-long piece of excrement. Finally, when the couple visit Aram's parents, Finklestein the father entertains his son's new girlfriend by telling her about an operation to give him an artificial anus that can even stretch. This is just some of the toilet humor packed into the movie's 95 minutes. It seems a new film genre is being born as we speak-disgusting romantic comedy.
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