If you hire A-list actors and your movie has a great soundtrack, it must be Cameron Crowe. He’s the director who made the famous Tom Cruise say the most famous line, “Show me the money!” in Jerry Maguire, and eventually collaborated with him again in the enigmatic Vanilla Sky. This decade, he made Matt Damon and his family live on a zoo in the decent albeit likeable We Bought a Zoo. In his latest, Aloha, he captures his actors going on vacation in Hawaii. It’s refreshing to have a movie without any overblown effects every once in a while. Unfortunately, it’s not the case with this movie. I don’t know what the hell Cameron Crowe was thinking.
Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is a military contractor who used to work in Afghanistan. He’s now working for a wealthy industrialist (Bill Murray). His task is to launch a satellite into space. He immediately becomes attracted to a fast-talking, energetic Air Force pilot Allison Ng (Emma Stone), who is one-quarter Hawaiian (don’t ask). However, Gilcrest tries to reconnect with his old girlfriend (Rachel McAdams), but she’s married to a mute Air Force pilot (John Krasinski), who Gilcrest has an amusing conversation with near the end of the movie with their thoughts and gestures.
One of the biggest problems with Aloha is the direction. It has no idea what it wants to be. It goes from being a “romance” between Cooper and Stone to a family drama with Cooper getting along with one of McAdams’ children who has an obsession with Hawaiian Gods and carrying a video camera. Then, there’s a subplot with a satellite launch. If the actors share no chemistry whatsoever, that’s also a major problem. It’s not funny, not romantic, and not surprising. Thank God this movie flopped.