2.5/4

Labor Day [2014] ★★½

Labor-Day-2013-Movie-Poster1-650x961Valentine’s day is upon us. This is cue for Hollywood studios to release their romantic films. Exhibit A: “Labor Day”, written and directed by Jason Reitman (“Up In The Air”) and based on the 2009 novel by Joyce Maynard. I think it’s fair to say that moviegoers know what to expect when they see one of these book adaptations: real people in stories that bring them together, draw them apart, and offer some form of happy ending after necessary tears are shed. That’s all true in “Labor Day”, which stars Kate Winslet as Adele, a troubled mother who lives with her only son Henry. One day, while out for supplies, her son is approached by Frank (Josh Brolin), a fugitive who demands that Henry and Adele return home with him, providing a place to hide for a few hours. Will Adele and Frank fall in love? Naturally. Is the movie too corny and uneven at times? That’s also true. But boring it is not. In fact, this campy romantic drama is well acted and has heaps of atmosphere. You can practically feel the humidity dripping in this small New Hampshire town, circa 1987. Both actors couldn’t be more charming, and they make this otherwise predictable drama well worth watching. This hot mess got booed by several critics so far, but there’s no denying its irresistible energy.

Rating: 2.5/4

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