Aloha Stinks of 'Flop Sweat'

All-star cast can't save a messy script: critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2015 11:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – An all-star cast of Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, and Bill Murray comes together in Aloha, a love-triangle romantic comedy set in, you guessed it, Hawaii. But that all-star cast wasn't enough to win over most critics:

  • "Aloha is a marshmallow of a film: soft on the inside, soft on the outside, and wholly devoid of substance," writes Nathan Rabin at the Globe and Mail. He argues the flick is a remake of director Cameron Crowe's "biggest flop," 2005's Elizabethtown, only in a new location. The actors are plagued by a "desperately overwritten screenplay," and only when free from dialogue do they show their potential. In one such scene, Murray basks "in the glory of being Bill Murray" as he "dances defiantly and exuberantly with Stone."
  • Tom Long opens his review with this line: "Where to begin with Aloha? Begin by not going to the movie." The idea to squeeze a mad billionaire's plan for space domination into a romantic romp is not a good one, he writes at the Detroit News: "It's like adding Dr. Evil to Sleepless in Seattle." The flick in general is "mush" filled with "a splatter of random quirks," he says. "Apparently Bill Murray is not the cure for everything."

  • Over the ukuleles, Steven Rea hears "the drip-drop of flop sweat." More than a few details in Aloha are "hard to swallow," including Stone's character's supposed one-quarter Hawaiian ancestry, he writes at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Stone also seems too young to be a fighter pilot carrying on a relationship with Cooper's defense contractor. More importantly, though, "For all the screwball patter, smart-aleck similes, and zingy one-liners that Crowe has handed his mismatched cast, a kerplunking emptiness runs through Aloha."
  • But Rene Rodriguez at the Miami Herald appears to be a fan. Aloha is Crowe's "strangest movie to date ... and in some ways, it is also his worst," he writes. But "there are moments of such emotional honesty ... that prove he can still turn cliched situations into moments of clear-eyed insight into the infuriating, heartbreaking vagaries of love." The flick may be an "overstuffed" mess, "but messes can be fascinating," he continues. "The doors to the Aloha cult fan club are officially open. I'll take one ticket, please."

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