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hopscotchee: jaeden martell score: 33.5 rating: PG-13 time: 104 minutes

caution: do not be fooled by the cover of this movie. aloha may appear to be a trustworthy, gripping-love-triangle-set-in-the-tropics-flick with an enticing cast, however, this movie goes to show that there are a lot of other elements that can make or break a movie, not just how many big names you can attach to the project.

don't get us wrong, this movie was beautiful. the bright forestry and ocean-scapes of hawaii gave an appealing background for a flourishing romance. and though, being able to film on location heavily benefited the movie, the production company overly relied on visual aspects, neglecting the concept of the story.

the script was rather undeveloped and the dialogue fell flat. there's a difference between what a character needs to say in a scene or what information the audience need to know, and what a character would say. in our opinion, this can be the trickiest thing for screenwriters to accomplish, because at the end of the day, it can be complicated to find the happy middle, where the audience understands what's going on, but also making a movie sound realistic - however, this doesn't mean you just slap whatever you think out on the paper. and unfortunately, the characters' lines felt forced rather than realistic. (spoiler) like, "mr. sexy pants" - what even was that?

equally as rough, what was a decent-enough concept lacked direction. you'd think, going into this movie, (spoiler) it would be about a love triangle, however straight away, you learn that tracy, brian's ex, is married with two kids - enter jaeden martell - and although bradley cooper's done some complicated movies, you can tell that this one's gonna be rather simple in that he won't rekindle that flame, ending up with allison. now the movie's 'when will this happen' rather than 'what will happen', losing its interest. the plot, also, felt unclear, presenting itself jumpy and all over the place, trying to juggle (spoiler) brian's love life, personal journey, military conflict, and fatherhood?

what, also, made the story hard to follow, was allison's strident reactions to things. it was hard to understand her back and forth banter and bipolar mood swings in response to brian. (spoiler) how can you go from yelling at each other on a forest hike to having a casual conversation about sexy talk at a bar???? and after coming from a happy montage sequence of their dating life, a cringy hat throws it all off. (but, then again, why would you get someone that hat?) though in all seriousness, the major disconnect for the audience with allison's character was by casting emma stone as part-asian for this role. this isn't just incredibly offense to puke-face-white-wash the story but makes her character hard to take serious.

on a separate note, why didn't woody talk? we understand if the writer added this in as a character-quirk, but it didn't come across as beneficial to the story. and with nothing that he said to remember him by, all we are left to remember is (spoiler) him killing santa. however, it was definitely john krasinski's inspo for a quiet place. . . .

in basic terms, this movie was not "super, super good" but misleading. so, if you're going to watch it, don't have any prior exceptions, like we did. you may, actually, enjoy it more. but, we can't say that this movie wouldn't make a desperate what's-on-tv-i-don't-have-netflix-at-my-hotel watch or a pile-on-movie-friend-get-together.

-- thanks, jaeden xo

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