Paradise - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paradise Reviews

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January 31, 2017
"You may have it bad, but you aren't the only one with problems."
September 19, 2015
Although the jokes were quite silly, the concept was sweet and the gullible Lamb Mannerhelm really did have a life changing experience in Las Vegas. The storyline follows Lamb Mannerhelms journey into exploring the world after suffering severe burns in an airplane crash. With loads of money at her disposal after the airline pays her out a lump sum, she heads to Las Vegas after denouncing God in church in front of her family and Christian congregation. Whilst in Las Vegas, she becomes friends with William (Russell Brand) who is a bartender in a seedy club. She also becomes friends with Loray whose a singer in the same club and she decides to show her the real Las Vegas. When William finishes his shift, he joins them on there crazy journey and Lamb gets introduced to many different aspects of the world. Its a sweat storyline which is based around people who have to live with a disability and find it hard to go out into the world. With the help of William and Loray, Lamb soon realises that she can do some good for people who also have there own insecurities and money problems, like the prostitute that she meets in the toilet. I would have liked to have seen what the prostitute done with the money but the director chose to cut that element out of the movie. Anyway, I liked the chemistry between Lamb, William and Loray and the progression of her journey was quite enjoyable. I must admit, I was expecting this movie to be really crap but it actually wasn't that bad. Russell Brand was quite toned down compared to a lot of his other performances and he showed a lot of sympathy to Lamb's disability which was a great touch to the storyline. Although the movie didn't get the big budget treatment and it didn't go down well with critics, it still has a very sweet concept which was enjoyable in places. 

Although Julianne Hough, 27, isn't a household name, she has starred in some big movies like Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Burlesque, Footloose (the remake), Rock of Ages and Safe Haven. There wasn't that much more that she could have done with the role in this movie so I can honestly say that she put in a good performance but I can't really remember her in any of the other movies. She hasn't really got that much in the pipeline in terms of major releases and as this movie didn't do well at the box office, she still has a way to climb before she hits the big time. This is the first movie directed by Diablo Cody, which is why it didn't get a massive distribution budget but she did write Ricki and the Flash which is an upcoming movie with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, the award winning Juno, the funny Young Adult and the weird Jennifer's Body. Most of the movies that she has directed have definitely touched audiences heart, from an emotional point of view but she hasn't been able to hit the same height as she did in 2007 with Juno. Personally, I think that she done a great job with this movie but it's a shame that it will go under the radar because of its poor ratings.

I recommend this movie to people who are into their emotional comedy/dramas about a young girl who gets injured in a plane crash and leaves her small town to experience the world. 4/10
August 8, 2015
Underrated, in my opinion. Not groundbreaking but Russell Brand's performance was excellent, with nuance and depth, and the story is engaging. The ending was abrupt and somewhat incongruous.
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2015
In "Paradise," Lamb Mannerheim(Julianne Hough) has had her beliefs severely challenged by a near fatal plane crash that has left her with burns over most of her body. She expresses those new ideas, especially the parts about now being an atheist and even possibly voting Democrat in the next election, in front of her church, instead of announcing her donation of her settlement money. Rather, she will use some of that money to spread her wings. But instead of traveling to London to do jell-o shots with Richard Dawkins, she flies to Las Vegas for some general debauchery that begins ominously with a peach schnapps.

With her engaging directorial debut "Paradise," Diablo Cody shows that along with her skill with words, she also has a knack for visual imagery. It helps that Cody seldom goes after easy targets while having the movie's sweet protagonist find herself and the world, and maybe not in that order. That's not to mention an excellent turn from Octavia Spencer.(I don't know what to make of Russell Brand and probably never will.)
½ April 12, 2015
Tough to watch at times; semi-downer of a film is kept a float by a decent script and good acting.
½ September 24, 2014
Worthy of viewing! The acting was great and the characters seemed believable enough. You could feel the pain and frustration the main character was experiencing. Overall the actors did a great job! Story was funny and heart wrenching.

A story about rediscovering Faith.
½ September 14, 2014
Cody is an intermittently wonderful screenwriter but the fully realized characters and silver-needle wit of "Juno" and "Young Adult" are nowhere to be found in her debut as writer/director. I say SKIP IT!!!
June 10, 2014
I have become a big fan of Russell Brand over the years. Whilst this wasn't his best piece of work by any stretch of the imagination, it was still an enjoyable watch. This is the first film that I have seen Julianne Hough in. If this is an indication than she has a bright future ahead. Whilst the film's script was slightly constricted, one could tell that she has a diverse acting ability. I was amazed to see how pretty she looks generally as she transforms herself into a simpleton in this one perfectly.
½ April 9, 2014
This obnoxious, pretentious film thinks that it's biting and saying something when it's really saying nothing.
March 23, 2014
Cute and fun. But seriously under developed. Should have been more poignant and stronger developed characters.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2014
A supposed inspirational comedy, Paradise tries to bring some heart to its satire. After renouncing her faith a burn victim takes off for Las Vegas to experience life for the first time, and along the way she meets a bar tender and a lounge singer who offer to guide her on her journey. Julianne Hough leads the cast and brings a certain charisma to her performance that lightens up the film. And, Russell Brand gives a strong supporting performance that serves as good comic relief. However, the film seems a little confused about what it's trying to say. Paradise is a bit of fun, but it doesn't really go anywhere.
February 23, 2014
Paradise is and okay drama about a girl suffering from a trauma in needing to go to Las Vegas to try to have some happiness. Very good cast in it. Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer, and Russell Brand are some of the stars.C+(2013)
February 17, 2014
F- This is not the Diablo Cody anyone wanted.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2014
You're courting irony when you name your movie Paradise, as well as pained movie critic puns, but I had faith that Diablo Cody, stepping into the director's chair for the first time, would entertain, especially after her best screenplay yet, 2011's Young Adult. The problem with Paradise is that it goes just about nowhere and it's shockingly bland, a criticism I never thought I'd have for a Cody-penned work. The premise starts off strong, with Lamb (Julianne Hough) as a devout Christian living a sheltered existence until the day she becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. Her body covered in burns, her faith shaken to its core, she embarks on journey to Las Vegas to sin it up big time. It's snarky and satirical, and then she gets to Vegas, she meets some nice new pals (Russel Brand, Octavia Spencer), and they hang out and... that's about it. The Lamb character is meant to be a nave but ultimately nice person, but she's portrayed as vaguely racist thanks to Cody's simple skewering of fundamentalism. Where are the sharp characters and incisive wit of Cody's past efforts? The comedy almost dissolves as it goes and you realize that intriguing premise is never going to be realized. And then the third act happens and it feels like the film just gives up, unearned sentimentality takes control, and the characters all find unsatisfying conclusions. The characters aren't given enough material, often left adrift in a plot-free environment of self-discovery. A misguided scene where Lamb pours her heart out to a former prostitute could work as a summary of what tonally doesn't work with this movie. There are some funny moments, even some affecting ones, but Paradise doesn't feel like it has a sophisticated voice and clear direction. Coming from Cody, I wouldn't have expected those two chief complaints.

Nate's Grade: C
January 28, 2014
I love this movie! I don't understand why it's rated so bad. I really enjoy watching this movie, and will watch it again.
January 28, 2014
I wanted to like this, but in the end it was just too talky and preachy for me. It had a few really good scenes, and one or two really bad scenes, which just turn it into a really average movie. I did love Russell Brand, though, as usual. 6/10, just for him.
January 28, 2014
I wanted to like this, but in the end it was just too talky and preachy for me. It had a few really good scenes, and one or two really bad scenes, which just turn it into a really average movie. I did love Russell Brand, though, as usual. 6/10, just for him.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2014
Charming and Heartfelt.

Enjoyable Movie! While I did like the movie and I am glad I watched it, it wasn't really what I would call a laugh-out-loud comedy. This is from the writer of Juno and the comedy is more that style. This is almost a bi-polar movie. One minute you are laughing and smiling the next you are depressed. This is good but be prepared for that. Overall, a good movie that is worth watching but be prepared for the roller coaster.

Lamb Mannerheim's faith is shaken after a plane crash burns two-thirds of her body, and she shocks her small-town congregation when she publicly renounces God. As she sets out to experience the worldly pleasures of Las Vegas, she meets a bartender and a cynical lounge singer who help her check off as many dirty deeds as possible from her Napkin of Sin bucket list.
½ January 24, 2014
Further proof that Diablo Cody was a one hit wonder. The script is embarrassingly awful.
½ January 22, 2014
I knew it was going to be shitty from the start, but I made myself go through the torture of watching it anyways because the magnificent Russell Brand was in it.
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