Film Review: The Rebound

In all honesty, a Catherine Zeta Jones romantic comedy is not the most enticing of prospects. Even Michael Douglas might agree with this sentiment. The Rebound, nevertheless, is surprisingly funny and an enjoyable watch.

Following the break up of her marriage, Sandy and her two children move to Manhattan for a fresh start. Struggling to cope with her new life as a single mother, Sandy enlists the help of Aram to help look after her kids. Aram, a graduate unable to make a vocational choice, bonds with Sandy, despite their age gap…

The Rebound works well as a romantic comedy, for the most part. Writer and director Bart Freundlich steers the film competently. The Rebound has good momentum; the film never feels like it is dragging. Mixing innuendo and physical comedy, the humour is mostly on point. A few of the jokes are a bit hackneyed, but most of the comedy is bright and amusing.

With the proliferation of the term ‘cougar’ in common vernacular, The Rebound has arrived at an apt time with its depiction of a younger man/older woman relationship. Like the show Cougar Town, this theme is often played for laughs, although the emotional implications are also dwelled upon. Although The Rebound does sometimes drift into the realm of cliché, its highlighting of the issues of such a relationship does ground the film in reality. When Sandy first meets Aram’s family as his boss, Freundlich flips perspectives somewhat so potential worries for Aram are raised. Scenes like this help to develop Aram’s character, so he is far more than just a toy boy.

The only real let down of The Rebound is its ending. Despite a careful build up to the relationship between Sandy and Aram, the ending seems rushed. It also feels a little contrived; perhaps further exploration in the final scenes would have made for a more satisfactory conclusion.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is appropriately cast as Sandy; she looks the right age and it is easy to see why Aram would be attracted to her. Justin Bartha is believable as the younger man. Although his appearance is youthful, Aram is a bit of an old soul. Nonetheless, the real stars are Kelly Gould and Andrew Cherry, who play Sandy’s children Sadie and Frank Jr. Both these young actors give good performances, and are responsible for a significant proportion of the humour.

Although The Rebound is somewhat reliant on clichéd humour and predictable outcomes, it is still an entertaining movie for rom-com fans.

The Rebound is available on DVD from 7th February 2011.