© Tobis Film GmbH & Co. KG

Lieber Verliebt (The Rebound)
U.S.A. 2009

Opening 31 Dec 2009

Directed by: Bart Freundlich
Writing credits: Bart Freundlich
Principal actors: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha

Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones), age 40, moves herself and her two children to New York City after discovering that her husband is a cheating asshole. Soon problems abound. The big city with its colourful street life is the opposite of their former suburban home. Sandy must work through her anger at her husband’s deceit. Questions come up: how to pay the bills, what jobs are available, how to adjust to office work, and, very important, where to find a trustworthy baby-sitter? This last problem solves itself in the local coffee shop where we meet Aram (Justin Bartha), age 25. Newly single and also nursing disappointment (his French wife left him the minute she got her Green Card), he is ready for the challenge of babysitter in a nice apartment with two young children who appreciate his cooking and drama skills. Sandy soon appreciates him, too, for other reasons. Aram’s nice Jewish parents are reluctant to accept Sandy, but love their son. Still, Sandy finds the situation impossible and constantly repeats, “But you are so young,” until we say, “Either get over it or leave him.” She chooses one of these solutions.

Zeta-Jones looks magnificent at age 40 (her real age). She and Bartha act well together, although Bartha plays a young man too good for this world, therefore practically unbelievable. The children are excellent, especially Kelly Gould as the daughter. Former musician Art Garfunkle makes a cameo appearance as Aram’s father. Director and script writer Bart Freundlich said that he was inspired by Woody Allen and also The Graduate. He was thrilled to be able to film just a few blocks from his own New York City apartment, although there are also 12 international scenes such as Hong Kong, Mumbai, Paris and Istanbul. There is nothing wrong with the film except that too many of this type, i.e., young woman makes it in the professional world and finds love, soon wear out. I am thinking of Renee Zellweger in New in Town or Jennifer Aniston in Love Happens. This type of romantic comedy gets old pretty fast, the lone exception being Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. (Becky Tan)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.