What You Need To Know:
A great cast of TV veterans rounds out the casting of the two young leads for FLIPPED. Apart from one unresolved subplot with Bryce’s father, the story is tight and well written. Rob Reiner’s directing further brings this story to life with delightful humor and a lot of heart. Despite a bad father/good father subplot and brief foul language, FLIPPED contains some strong messages extolling a few biblical principles like honesty, integrity and self-sacrifice. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teenagers.
(C, BB, L, V, N, AA, D, M) Light Christian, strong moral worldview with a few references to “God’s grace” and “counting blessings” and a focus on biblical principles like honesty, integrity and self-sacrifice; three obscenities and five profanities; light but disturbing violence of father slapping his daughter on the face in an outburst; no sex; upper male nudity of young teenage boy while he changes clothes; several scenes of father and mother drinking; one scene with cigarette; and, one dysfunctional father, one joking reference to Playboy Magazine and boy’s father shows tremendous prejudice and avarice toward girl’s parents whom he barely knows.
FLIPPED is a romantic comedy about young love.
It’s 1957 in Middle America. Young Bryce Loski and his family are moving in across the street from precocious fellow second grader with a million dollar twinkle in her eye, Juli Baker. It’s love at first sight for Juli. So begins this heart warming and humorous rendition of a timeless love story. With a he said/she said style, viewers are constantly “flipped” from Juli to Bryce’s alternating perspectives, making for some truly delightful moments and humor.
In the beginning, Bryce discovers he’s landed a role he never auditioned for, the “Prince Charming” of Juli’s dreams. Like an animal caught in a trap, he tries to wriggle free. Juli, meanwhile, misinterprets his “wriggling” to her own advantage, always feeding her own fantasy. Little by little cracks begin to emerge, though. Prince Charming begins to fade by inches revealing an insecure boy trying to fit and manage life with a dysfunctional family.
Enter Bryce’s Grandfather, Chet. A recent widower, he comes to live with the family. He barely speaks to Bryce, but one day everything begins to change when a beautiful young girl with a free spirit captures Chet’s attention across the street and reminds him of his wife. He helps Juli transform her family’s weed-filled front yard into a trimmed and beautiful place and in the process seems to recover a piece of his own heart. Revived and no longer detached, he startles Bryce by real conversation in which he begins to share from a wealth of wisdom and truth about the real nature of love and self-sacrifice. He encourages the now Junior Highschooler to reconsider the girl next door. Bryce is not quite ready for that, however.
In a “last straw” moment, Bryce fatally shatters the last remnants of Prince Charming. He fails to help Juli rescue a magnificent sycamore tree that holds a special place in her heart. The tree is chopped down, and a heartbroken Juli ceases to care about Bryce who, oddly enough, feels her absence. Love begins to blossom in reverse, and now he must win her back.
Bryce’s and Juli’s families are constantly contrasted in FLIPPED. Juli’s father is a good man, an artist at heart working wherever he can to support not only his family, but also to keep his mentally handicapped brother in an expensive care facility. They live in a rented house filled with love, communication, genuine-heartedness, and character. In contrast, Bryce’s family owns their home, polished and perfect but empty inside. Bryce’s father drowns his disappointment in scotch, while his mother desperately plays the role of perfect housewife. Between these two worlds stands Grandfather Chet, who speaks about things like truth and honesty and self-sacrifice and “real” love. Chet builds a bridge between the two worlds and across the street that Bryce finally crosses.
FLIPPED is a bighearted he said/she said romantic comedy about first love. Great performances and the inimitable Rob Reiner touch, make this an audience favorite from the start. It’s a story chock full of life lessons in love, honesty and integrity, making it appropriate for a teenage or adult audience. However, due to some brief foul language and the unresolved storyline involving the abusive alcoholic father, who slaps his daughter during a violent outburst, families probably should keep their younger members at home.