Growing Up in Your 20s
Starring: Uma Thurman, Michael Angarano,
Lee Pace, Reece Thompson, Jake
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Max Winkler
Executive Producer: Joshua Zeman, Daniel Dubiecki,
Jason Reitman, Corrie
Rothbart, Billy Rovzar
Producer: Emilio Diez Barroso, Polly
Cohen Johnsen, Darlene
Caamano, Matt Spicer
Writer: Max Winkler
Address Comments To:Bill Banowski, CEO, Magnolia Pictures
1614 West 5th St.
Austin, TX 78703
Eamon Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures
43 West 27th St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701; Fax: (212) 924-6742
Website: www.magpictures.com; Email: info@ magpictures.com
The story follows Sam, a children’s book writer in his 20s who is obsessed with an older woman named Zoe that he dated in the past. When he hears she’s about to get married, he talks his best friend Marshall into driving out to the seaside ceremony, not letting his friend know that his goal is to woo her back rather than merely enjoy a weekend getaway for fun.
Using a string of lies, Sam talks his way into the festivities and winds up seducing Zoe on the eve of her wedding. Ultimately, he realizes that she has chosen the right man after all. So, he makes the mature decision to bow out and become a better man and friend by being more honest about his life and problems and addressing them. Regrettably, his stated solution is through secular therapy rather than a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The debut film of writer-director Max Winkler, the son of Henry Winkler of “The Fonz” fame, CEREMONY is an entertaining, dialogue-driven comedy that speaks from the heart. Its characters are quirky yet relatable, and the movie bears a resemblance to the popular mid-career films of Woody Allen and those of Wes Anderson. The acting is strong throughout, particularly by Uma Thurman, who takes a well-written, three-dimensional role and works wonders with her part as a free spirit who’s decided to settle down yet experiences one more bout with emotional confusion before her wedding day.
While the movie initially treats her one-night stand with the male lead on her wedding weekend with whimsy, it ultimately strikes the right tone by showing the emotional damage that results, with the characters having to make hard choices to do the right thing, even if it hurts them. When it’s revealed in the closing moments that Sam has written a list of reasons Zoe should marry her fiancé, the movie earns its warmhearted conclusion.
The negative content in CEREMONY earns an extreme caution, however, so this is clearly a movie only for older viewers. Please see our CONTENT section for details.
Though CEREMONY starts off with lies and evolves into an illicit situation, it’s a whimsical, indie-film delight that ultimately features positive moments of moral and ethical growth in the characters. The characters are quirky yet relatable, and the movie bears a resemblance to the popular mid-career films of Wes Anderson and Woody Allen. There is, however, some strong foul language, drunkenness, brief drug references, and some lewd, sensual content. Because of all this, CEREMONY earns an extreme caution from MOVIEGUIDE®, your family-friendly movie review service on radio and at Movieguide.org.