Sleeper: 10 Years
This star-powered high-school reunion film deserved a better attendance.
Having missed my own high-school reunion this summer, I can’t say with certainty that the one depicted in 10 Years is realistic. It is, however, how I would have wanted the evening to play out: as a cathartic night to remember, full of second chances and long-overdue closure. Assembling a vast ensemble of rising young stars, writer-director Jamie Linden stays true to the disappointments of adulthood—failed relationships, squandered potential—without sacrificing an element of romantic wish-fulfillment.
So why did moviegoers stay away, like jaded twentysomethings skipping their own alumni gatherings? Though its generic title surely didn’t help, much of the blame probably falls on the advertisements, which failed to convey the sheer volume of name talent that appears. Channing Tatum, whose former prom king is the closest the film comes to having a central protagonist, anchors a cast that includes Rosario Dawson, Ari Graynor, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, reunited Hurt Locker grunts Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, and at least a half-dozen other familiar faces.
There’s a certain tidiness to the individual character arcs. (The plot strand involving Justin Long and Max Minghella, as BFFs competing for the affection of Lynn Collins’s aging hottie, resolves itself a bit too neatly.) Yet 10 Years is so loose and conversational, so in love with the rapport among its estranged classmates, that it’s easy to forgive Linden’s more conventional script choices. His film is a sprawling party, as indebted to American Graffiti as it is to The Big Chill. And unlike your real decennial, it isn’t a one-time-only reunion; those who missed this irresistible indie in theaters can still R.S.V.P. for it on demand. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 18.)