’10 Years’ follows a group of friends on the night of their high school reunion who, a decade later, still haven’t quite grown up. Channing Tatum plays Jake, who is deeply in love with his girlfriend (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and ready to propose–until he runs into his high school flame (Rosario Dawson) for the first time in ten years. Jake’s friend Cully (Chris Pratt) married his cheerleader girlfriend (Ari Graynor), and has been looking forward to the reunion so he can finally apologize to all the classmates he bullied in high school. However, after a few too many drinks, the jock-turned-family man ends up reverting back to his old ways instead. Meanwhile, longtime rivals Marty (Justin Long) and A.J (Max Minghella) spend the night still trying to one-up each other to impress the coolest girl in class (Lynn Collins), who now has a secret. The famous one of the group, Reeves (Oscar Isaac) is now a well-known musician, but is still too shy to talk to the high school crush (Kate Mara) who inspired his one hit wonder.
Your high school reunion is always a stressful time that stretches your social skills to the max. It is no surprise that high school reunions are fertile ground for movie companies that are wanting to showcase their stars. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these films seem to have been popped out of a clone machine and given a different name and byline. 10 Years is fortunately, not one of these clones at all.
10 years is a great little movie that stars so many pretty people you will not be able to remove your eyes from the screen for a moment. (If all of my high school reunions had this many pretty people I seriously doubt that I would even attend). Whatever the case, it is not your typical high school reunion tale despite some common themes that run through the movie.
Coming into this film I knew it would be a bit on the different side. Writer Jamie Linden wrote the screenplay and I knew he had done We Are Marshall years earlier. That movie was an all-time favorite and very unique as well.
The movie itself is about several former classmates at Lake Howell High School that are fighting for normalcy in their lives returning to the old high school for their ten year reunion. Channing Tatum stars as Jake, the class athlete and jock supreme. His character is the one that the others seem to revolve around (He is Channing Tatum, after all) but they all have a role that is worth checking out. There are roughly a dozen folks in this movie that are given screen time that matters and all of them are interesting in some manner.
Jack brings along his girlfriend of many years Jess (who also happens to be Tatum’s real life wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and he gives quite the performance as the uncertain potential husband to be. He wants to propose to Jess but something always seems to stop him from reaching into the glove compartment for the already purchased ring.
Mary (played with gusto by Rosario Dawson) comes onto the scene via the reunion and Jack starts to feel that old feeling once again. Mary is a former sweetheart and still seems to have what attracted him in the first place. To complicate matters further, Mary also has a husband named Paul. (Ron Livingston) Amazingly, Paul and Jess end up leaving these two former lovebirds alone and the embers start to glow once again.
There are several sub-stories that make this flick shine a great deal. Cully (played with excellence by Chris Pratt) is the former class bully that is hopeful to go back and make amends with those that he hurt in school. His wife (played beautifully by Ari Graynor) ends up along for the ride as he gets drunk and things don’t work out the way he had hoped.
There are the buddies Marty and A.J. (Justin Long and Max Minghella) that both fight for the attentions of high school beauty Anna (Lynn Collins) but she is not who she pretends to be. Neither are they, so the storyline unfolds in a very interesting manner.
The most interesting story aside from Jake and Mary involves a former student named Reeves (played by Oscar Isaac) and his old secret crush Elise (Kate Mara)…Reeves is a huge pop star that has loved Elise since school, but was too shy to say so. He wrote a huge hit song about her and performs it while the reunion is going on. She knows who he is, but she is not a pop music fan and so knows little of how much of a star he has become. The pursuit and finality of this relationship is very interesting to watch unfold.
10 Years is a solid offering that will surprise you with its ability to transport you back to a time and place. Whether you want to be there or not will determine just how much you enjoy this film.