Every Friday night, we send cinephiles (and newlyweds) Sarah and Joe Piccirillo to see a film. Afterwards, they answer a few questions about it. Below is their discussion.
Synopsis: After botching a 911 call that leads to a girl’s murder, guilt-ridden dispatcher Jordan (Halle Berry) has a chance to redeem herself when she receives a call from the killer’s latest victim (Abigail Breslin).
Was This a Good Date Movie?
Sarah: I knew this was going to be a winner from the minute I saw the WWE logo on the opening credits.
Joe: I thought there’d be more pile-driving.
Sarah: This was a great date movie. It had some really suspenseful moments, but it wasn’t serious enough to stop the audience from yelling at the screen. Everyone got sucked in and whenever the movie was ridiculous it came across as camp.
Joe: Yeah, this was a good date movie -- you were wrapped on my arm the entire time. A lot of reviewers hated this movie, and I think it’s because they’re sad and alone. The movie is a fun, supersized episode of Law and Order. If you’re trying to find more than that, you’re going to be disappointed.
Did It Seem Realistic?
Joe: Halle Berry is actually a good actress. I know she won an Oscar, but I didn’t expect her to be good. Here she made a ridiculous situation believable.
Sarah: Well when I saw the trailer I thought it was going to be really farcical because it looked like the police department invited a 911 dispatcher to investigate a serial killer.
Joe: Right, but it actually makes sense the way it plays out. When she tells her boyfriend, the cop leading/bungling the investigation, about the identity of the killer, he blows her off. It makes sense that she would pursue it on her own.
Sarah: No one seemed to have the right job description. TV and movies tell me that there should be a team of local detectives and an FBI profiler fighting over the right to catch this guy. Here, it’s just a bunch of people in uniform walking around asking, "Hey, has anyone seen a red car? There’s a girl in the trunk!" Maybe that’s more realistic, which is what makes it terrifying,
Joe: This movie had clichés but dropped them quickly. They had a killer with a twisted history, but they didn’t explain it. They had a romantic interest for Berry, but they didn’t explore it. And they had a mean-looking supervisor, but she didn’t get in the way.
Sarah: It’s like when you’re choosing a password and it has to include specific characters like a capital letter, a lower case, a number…
Joe: Right, they hit all of them. The ending is decidedly not cliché, but that’s because it’s just dumb. But by that point, it had entertained me for so long, I gave it a pass.
What Will You Be Thinking About Tomorrow?
Sarah: When Halle Berry was giving instructions to Abigail Breslin, I kept thinking, "what a great idea" and then seconds later -- when circumstances changed -- 'that’s the worst idea ever; she’s going to get her killed!" That was probably the most compelling part of the movie – that in making quick decisions, you don’t always see what’s coming next.
Joe: There’s a scene where Berry’s character uncovers old photographs of the kidnapper and his family. These are not Kodak moments. It’s like a flip-book of the grief process. Why would anyone take them?
Sarah: The movie is kind of an endorsement for teenage obesity. There’s safety in being too big to pick up.
Joe: That’s a good takeaway.
Sarah: The movie didn’t try to fuss with substance, and I appreciate that.
Joe: Bring a date to this movie. Or kidnap a girl and bring her along. (Kidding, of course.)
Sarah and Joe are writers/editors who live in Boston. They met in a bar and married within a year. They love to argue about early Woody Allen films and old romantic comedies. They both agree to hate musicals.