‘Aloha’ Review — Jerry Maguire Goes Hawaii

aloha review

There’s a good, maybe even special, movie somewhere inside of Aloha, the latest Cameron Crowe offering that wants to recapture the magic of Crowe’s early, infectious work. Unfortunately, that hidden movie is quite exactly that: hidden. And it’s beneath a final product that feels harshly edited, despite being pretty confident.

Mounds of character-building scenes are replaced with conspicuous exposition and quick bits of dialogue that are meant to be “enough” for us to keep following along in this strange romantic story about a former-military privateer helping a billionaire launch a weaponized satellite. Or something. Oh, and there’s a quirky romance.

I like Cameron Crowe, and I like Cameron Crowe movies. So it’s unfortunate that I have to give him the blame for this mess of a movie. He wrote and directed it, and he had incredibly talented actors trying to help him make this movie something…well, special. Sadly, it’s anything but.

Grade: D

Generally, only the most hardcore Crowe fans who cherish Say AnythingJerry Maguire, and maybe even Singles will be able to suspend their disbelief long enough to enjoy this film.

Extra credits

  • Example of this film’s awkwardness: Bradley Cooper essentially pulls a Say Anything with a satellite. I’m not joking.
  • I think this is the first Emma Stone movie I just didn’t like at all. I’d say the same about Bradley Cooper, but there’s a reason I skipped Selena.
  • Cameron Crowe loves to parallel the love between his characters with the love they (and he) have for the locations they live in. Strangely, that technique fell flat this time around, with the exception of an early group of scenes on the “other side” of Hawaii.
  • I’ll admit I also didn’t really like We Bought a Zoo or Elizabethtown, Crowe’s most recent work before this. So I was hoping for a return to form with Aloha, which may have been a little unfair on my part.
  • At the very least, the absurdity of this film manages to reach a climax when a head nod essentially communicates a massive reveal to one of the young characters. It’s so painfully bad, it elicited moans from the audience.
  • This film lost me at “Aloha.” There, I said it.

Aloha stars Bradley Cooper as Brian Gilcrest, Emma Stone as Allison Ng, Rachel McAdams as Tracy Woodside, John Krasinski as John “Woody” Woodside, Bill Murray as Carson Welch, Danny McBride as Colonel “Fingers” Lacy, and Alec Baldwin as General Dixon. It was written and directed by Cameron Crowe.


5 thoughts on “‘Aloha’ Review — Jerry Maguire Goes Hawaii

  1. I’ve purposefully avoided anything by Cameron Crowe for years. He really hasn’t done anything worthwhile since Jerry Maguire (I hated Vanilla Sky). It’s a shame.

  2. I love Crowe to death, but I didn’t enjoy this one in the slightest. That nod you reference in the end made me laugh, and not in a good way. This was a MAJOR disappointment from someone who actually appreciates the sappy crap CC puts out.

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I too haven’t enjoyed CamCrowe since the 90s.

  4. Why are critics trashing this movie so much though? Is it really that bad or something going on here?

    • AV Club gave it a C+, though the writer admitted he’s a sucker for Crowe and tried harder than most to like it. A few critics enjoy the location, some sharp dialogue moments, and a somewhat funny scene near the end. But most critics couldn’t put up with everything else that fails in this movie to count those moments as redemption.

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