"Some Love Letters Are Better Off Left Unread"
What You Need To Know:
ALOHA has great characters, but the movie’s charm is overwhelmingly ruined by politically correct agendas. ALOHA’s main concern and obstacle lies in the apparent “evil” of privatizing space exploration. Not only is this thinking backwards, but it aligns with the Hawaiian pagan myths which are frequently tied into the story and romanticized. There are some instances where characters make good choices, but ALOHA ultimately is neither a good comedy nor a good romance flick. ALOHA has too much paganism and too much political correctness.
(PaPaPa, FRFR, PCPCPC, RoRo, AcapAcapAcap, B, P, LL, S, N, A, D, M) Very strong pagan worldview with multiple references to Hawaiian mysticism, strong Romanticism, and politically correct anti-capitalist and new age views of the earth, plus one good moral decision is made in support of keeping a family unit together and some pro-military elements; six obscenities and nine profanities; no violence; unmarried man and woman kiss, sex is implied, and they are seen unclothed in sheets afterward, kissing between married couple, reference to pagan mythological revenge sex; upper male nudity, native Hawaiians in traditional garb that shows some skin, adults and children in swimsuits; moderate drinking; light smoking; and, lying, deception, greed, manipulation, destruction of personal property, most of which isn’t condoned.
ALOHA is a romantic-comedy from acclaimed writer/director Cameron Crowe (JERRY MAGUIRE, WE BOUGHT A ZOO). Before screening this movie, Crowe addressed the audience in person to explain his intentions for making what he describes as a “love letter” to the islands of Hawaii. Sadly, some letters are better left unread.
In ALOHA, Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is a defense contractor returning to Hawaii to handle the launch of a satellite for a privately owned corporation owned by Carson Welch (Bill Murray). Brian, who is just recovering from a missile attack in Afghanistan, hasn’t been back to Hawaii in nearly 13 years. Because of his prime connections with the military and the Hawaiian natives who are fighting against America’s “military occupation” of the islands, Brian is the perfect person to ensure that all parties get what they want.
As soon as he lands, Brian unavoidably runs into his ex-girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams), who persevered after Brian broke her heart 13 years prior. Tracy and her husband, Woody, an oddly quiet Air Force pilot who mostly communicates through facial expressions and shoulder touching, now have a nice life with their two children. Tracy invites Brian over for dinner so they can reconnect. While Brian is in Hawaii, the Air Force assigns one of its most promising Captains, Allison Ng (Emma Stone) to accompany Brian while he’s on business. The overly eager and excited Allison immediately annoys Brian.
Brian tries to navigate his responsibility of getting the Native Hawaiian leadership, the U.S. Military and the billion-dollar corporation to work together. However, the Native Hawaiians are adamantly against launching satellites into space because of their pagan beliefs regarding the sky, and Allison enthusiastically sides with the Hawaiian people. Brian and Allison begin to have feelings for each other, but Brian hasn’t quite shut the door on his relationship with Tracy, who’s having marital problems. Can Brian make the right choices in his professional life as well as his personal one?
ALOHA has great characters, especially in the quirky and charming Allison, whom Emma Stone inhabits with presumable ease. Woody is also a hilarious addition, and even though his role is small, he may be the most likable character in the movie. That said, the movie’s charm is overwhelmingly ruined by politically correct agendas. ALOHA’s main concern and obstacle lies in the apparent “evil” of privatizing space exploration, which Crowe claims will only lead to the militarization of satellites with missiles. Not only is this thinking backwards, but it aligns with the Hawaiian pagan myths which are frequently tied into the story and romanticized. It’s almost ironic that ALOHA will be playing against Disney’s TOMORROWLAND, which has a completely opposing view of space.
While the Hawaiians make comments about being “Americans by force,” these characters also go out of their way to state that they’re “pro military” and understand that most military personal are good people. In the end, it’s also determined that space travel should only be left up to the government, which apparently crosses morally ambiguous lines.
(Spoiler) One positive outcome in the movie is Tracy, who, though she feels pulled toward Brian, ultimately falls back in love with her husband and realizes he’s the better choice.
Ultimately, however, ALOHA is neither a good comedy nor a good romance flick and has too much unnecessary pagan elements and political correctness.