New To Blu: Labor Day

Winslet and Brolin celebrate Labor Day together in a witless romance.

"You already stuck your
fingers in my pie. Now,
how about a taste?"
Let me start this by saying I knew next to nothing about this film prior to watching it aside from seeing that it was directed by Jason Reitman and starred Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. That’s a fairly good start for a film and then toss in support from Tobey Maguire and Clark Gregg and it I thought to myself that it should be worth a look. Yeah, not so much.

Labor Day is a very strange change of pace from Reitman, I’ve enjoyed much of his previous work with Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up In The Air and Young Adult but this film lacks any of the charm, wit, satire or quality of his previous works. Things start off with enough eerie tension to make you think there could be good things to follow but it fades fast and we’re left with a painfully slow, dull and improbable coming of age/love story.

The film seems to want to explore how themes of loneliness, loss and depression can be redeemed through simple human compassion but it does so in such a peculiar fashion that as a viewer I just wasn’t buying what Reitman was selling. Everyone in the cast does their best to prop this ill-conceived story up but none of them are given a whole lot of work with. At best this thing is a Lifetime movie of the week and a really bad week at that. Winslet and Brolin are both completely wasted here and young Gattlin Griffith, who plays Winslet’s young son Henry, is either over matched by the role or very poorly directed. Finding decent child actors can be difficult but this kid gives Jake Lloyd a run for his money.

"Goonies never say Viagra!"
I can’t really recommend this movie to anyone that has any decent sense of cinema but as a friend of mine once told me, “There’s an ass for every seat” so maybe if you’re the type that really enjoys Lifetime, Hallmark and ABC Family this movie will appeal to you. Personally, I’d rather stare at a blank wall for entire Labor Day weekend that watch this turd again.

-Brian Rohe