While I was going through my TBR file, I stumbled upon this movie. I didn’t know anything about it and I thought it was just going to be one of those B movies that had a low budget with unknown actors. It turned out to be true, all except the first one (about it being a B movie) because after seeing it, I think I my list of favorites just got longer. I fell in love with it within the first three minutes.
Flipped is a romantic comedy based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen about two neighbors, Juli Baker (Madeline Caroll) and Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) who grew up next to each other wanting totally different things. From the day Juli met Bryce, she was instantly smitten and was convinced that he will be her first kiss. So she sticks to him like glue for the next four years and looks at him like he is her Prince Charming. But Bryce feels differently. From the first time he encounters Juli, he sees her as nothing but a weirdo nuisance who constantly embarrasses him. Afraid of losing his newfound popularity, he tries to shake her off at every opportunity. But Juli is different from most girls. Opposite from the stalker that Bryce considers her to be, she is resilient, strong willed and gutsy and wants nothing more than for Bryce to see her as she truly is. As they grow up, things begin to change, especially in the way they see each other.
I must say that I loved this movie from the opening line to the last line. The story was very simple. Set in the 1950s (to the 60s), the film centers on the budding love story of two people who are exact opposites of each other. Bryce comes from a well off family with the picture perfect home while Julie lives in a dilapidated house with a family who always tries to make ends meet. Julie does not care about conventions while Bryce lives by it, afraid to shake the status quo. But somehow, Juli finds something in Bryce that draws her to him like a moth to a flame. Not that he encourages her or anything. But as they learn more about each other, their feelings begin to take a turn. They begin to feel different and this story is their journey to understanding their feelings and understanding what they are to each other.
I liked that the film has a his and hers perspective. Bryce takes his turn narrating, and then Juli gives her take of the same incident. There were many scenes that were executed twice from different standpoints but they did not seem redundant. Rather, they seemed fresh, with the different annotation. It was very cute how often Bryce screws up without him realizing it, and how he stumbles on making amends.
There were also many parts of the story about each others’ family that seemed parallel, which explained a lot about their personalities and this gave viewers a deeper connection to the characters.
I had fun watching the movie because the characters were just so lovable. The actors that they cast for the lead roles were both charming and had great chemistry. Bryce was adorable and Juli was a sweetheart. I spent half the movie crying over the sweetness of some scenes and the other half chuckling over Bryce’s efforts to dismiss his feelings for Juli. It was also interesting that the two were always at cross purposes with each other. When Juli liked Bryce, he didn’t like her but when he finally realized how great she was, she was ready to let him go.
The script was very well written and injected a lot of nuggets of wisdom in bite sized pieces, perfect for adults and young adults who will surely flip over this movie. It is complex in its simplicity and its true beauty is found in its core. First love, puppy love, first love. What could be more beautiful? I have one complaint though, the film left me wanting more. I was a bit sad to learn though that the movie had a limited release in the US. Too bad because this is one of the greatest love stories I have ever seen. Kudos to writer/director Rob Reiner for nailing this film.