10 Items or Less Reviews
fun, for just a little while.
After viewing the film I wondered if it would have held my interest if the main charactor had been played by a unknown, and the answer is probably, as long as the chemistry between the two central charactors remained intact, There is enough humor and hollywood insider stuff to make this film worth a view regardless of Freeman's presence (although from a strict grading point Freeman probably gives it a point to point and a half bump).
Many have said that it appeared that Freeman was enjoying himself in this role - well, isn't that the point of the charactor in the first place; a kind of burnt out movie star who realized that he has lost touch with the real world, so he re-enters it and sees the pulsing beat of humanity wherever he looks. He is almost Santa Claus like in his "roll with it" good humor, as when he gets the wipe off guys at the car wash to do a conga line, and then stand in rapture as they watch the end of The Yearling as it plays on the tiny car wash tv.
In the end, the film is kind of a "buddy film", except the message goes a bit deeper - keep on keeping on and find some joy in the everyday.
In his last speach, Freeman tells Paz that they have a pact to remember this day in their lives, for they will never see each other again; as Freeman, having recharged his life batteries, returns to the sequestered and surreal world of hollywood.
[font=Century Gothic]"10 Items or Less" is a pleasant diversion of a movie that is capped off with a classic sight gag. The film looks at two contrasting sides of Los Angeles - the world of making movies and the working world. The movie star lives in a cloistered world where he wants for nothing but cannot relate to how the average person leads her life.(The look on Morgan Freeman's face when he is in the super store is priceless. Personally, I try and avoid such establishments as much as possible.) He sees in Scarlet the potential to live a better life and using language from his vocation, tries to give her the Hollywood ending that her dead end job, scum of the earth soon to be ex-husband and trailer park existence might not otherwise allow her. [/font]
He is doing some research for a role as a grocery store manager for a low budget movie and sees the gorgeous Spanish cashier Scarlet (Paz Vega). His driver never returns to pick him up and Scarlet gives the actor a ride. But first she has a job interview for the position of secretary in a construction company which the actor helps her to be prepared for; then they spend the afternoon together talking.
If you're looking for action, this isn't the movie to see. There is no action here but there's LOTS of dialogue. Or you can just drool over Paz Vega cuz she is hot and sexy and a cross between Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz.
I think Morgan Freeman is one of the best actors ever (he was incredible in 'The Shawshank Redemption') but what bothered me about this movie is that I got the feeling the actor only befriended Scarlet because she was beautiful. I wasn't quite sure if he was trying to help her or just making the moves on her. Or was he afraid to have a love affair with her and destroy his perfect world with his family? I'm still not sure but I'll ignore the cynic in me and just say maybe it's one of those little films about human relationships.
A nice line from Jim Parsons "You make me want to be a woman" to Freeman. At one point in the movie when they were lost, Morgan Freeman started talking about stopping the car to ask for directions and Scarlet said she never does that. BTW who ever heard of a guy wanting to ask for directions and the woman saying no? In the real world it's the exact opposite!!! I am just thinking aloud here!!!
The chemistry between Freeman and Paz Vega - in an interesting turn as a feisty, angry checkout girl in a dead-end town - is great, although I found Vega's accent a bit hard to understand at times. But the camaraderie and slow coming-out-of-her-protective-shell story is lovely, reminding us of how we can count our blessings even in the crappiest of situations.
It's a sweet slice-of-life kind of buddy movie (I know I'm overdosing on the hyphenations here), one where nothing much happens but you feel like you've made two new friends, learned something about yourself, and perhaps even fallen in love a little - I know I did with Freeman, especially with the great little twists director Silberling throws in here and there, like the Target shopping scene, the carwash scene, and Freeman's constant need to prominently display his movies in stores =)
Also, I really like making lists =)
It's a Sunday afternoon kind of movie, one which you savour over a lazy drink of iced tea with friends and/or loved ones, and one which leaves you feeling like life is worth living if only because there are great people like these in the world.