The Austin Chronicle

10 Years

Rated PG-13, 90 min. Directed by Jamie Linden. Starring Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Rosario Dawson, Oscar Isaac, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, Kate Mara, Brian Geraghty, Ron Livingston, Anthony Mackie, Lynn Collins, Aubrey Plaza.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Oct. 5, 2012

It’s a toss-up as to which is the bigger drag: binge-drinking through your high school reunion and its dispiriting spectacle of what 10 years has wrought on old pals’ hairlines, hips, and bright-eyed optimism, or watching ridiculously good-looking actors play-act through the same paces. In his directorial debut, writer Jamie Linden (Dear John, We Are Marshall) has imagined paper-thin characters but given them a pretty sheen by way of casting charismatic Hollywood actors. Call it a mod-podge of genericness.

Channing Tatum, who also produced, plays an investment broker happily in love with his girlfriend (played by real-life wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and eager for her to meet his high school crowd. The ensemble cast is packed with gifted comic and dramatic players, but Linden doesn’t give anyone enough to do – least of all lead Tatum, stuck in a tension-free meanderfest about new commitment and old wounds. (Rosario Dawson plays an ex.) Overpacked but spread thin, 10 Years has at least two subplots that could have been better served center stage. As casual former friends renegotiating their relationship as adults, rising stars Oscar Isaac and Kate Mara resist the superamped energy of the rest of the cast for a quiet, captivating back-and-forth. And Chris Pratt and Ari Graynor make an impression as a hard-drinking former bully trying to make amends and his long-suffering wife. As the booze flows, their situation goes from comic to depressive, scented with self-disgust and broken resolutions. The ingredients are there, but not the follow-through: This resolutely niceness-first film just won’t stir the pot.

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