Elvis & Anabelle Reviews
I had never heard of this film before I decided to watch it. The audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb seemed to be overall positive, so I was hoping that this film would be an alright watch, or if not, then at least a not too painful experience.
The main cast is relatively small, but I felt that most of the actors and actresses were trying too hard to do their parts. Blake Lively was pretty serviceable, but I felt that she sort of overacted in the scenes where she needed to be emotional. Joe Mantegna did a fairly well job in his role as the hunchback father of Elvis, and I do think he can be bought as an ailing middle-aged man. However, at times he can be somewhat creepy in an unpleasant way. Perhaps the mother of Anabelle, played by Mary Steenburgen (who played Clara Clayton in the third "Back to the Future" movie) was the most annoying person in the movie. Her character was understandably that way, as she seemed to be unbearably strict with her daughter, but that seems like her only characteristic.
For me the best actor was Max Minghella, and I also think his character was the best one in the film. I don't think he overacted at all, I thought he was convincing in showing some arrogance (with his old coach), being attracted to Anabelle, and showing immense care for his father.
The story was ok with some surprising and interesting moments. There were some plot elements that I think a lot of people would see coming, like the photograph of Elvis kissing Anabelle being discovered, and the last golf game where Elvis' father then collapses, and of course the journey that the two leads take in their relationship. Boy helps and saves girl; girl likes boy; parent of someone disapproves; girl finds something about boy she doesn't like; the two reconcile. For me, I can look past obvious elements if the film either executes the story well, or if there is an interesting twist to it. Some plot points I did not see coming, like seeing Anabelle die and then resurrect, or the flowers growing in time in the end, or the main couple going out on a brief stealing spree (which for a moment made them more unlikeable). I thought the ending with the two almost committing suicide was fairly tense. And with Minghella and Lively giving overall good performances, with a few hiccups, it made the scene difficult, but quite engaging, to watch.
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So overall, while this movie does not boast the best cast, it does have some interesting plot elements that can keep the viewer interested long enough to finish the film. I wouldn't say this film is a favorite of mine, but "Elvis & Anabelle" is a fairly decent movie I could watch again.
Glad I did. I really enjoyed this. Convincing characters and interesting little story about a reluctant beauty queen and a small town embalmers son.
Great cast- awesome performances by Max Minghella, Blake Lively, and Joe Mantegna.