Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Labor Day’ Counter Programs Football Weekend

Labor Day film stillThe screening was for LABOR DAY, a love story set to open wide on January 31st. But hold it right there.

On Super Bowl weekend? Of course.

It’s the normal counter programming targeted to women as instituted annually by Hollywood on a weekend where football testosterone—and a perverse interest in viewing television commercials— keeps the male species’ focus away from the movie emporiums.

Would I even attend the screening?

Well, for starters the trailer and TV spots didn’t do much to convince me to attend. Neither did the brief story summery that I read. Frankly, nothing much peaked my interest.

But a friend in the biz who’d already seen the film kept encouraging me to go. He was curious what I’d think.

On top of it the movie features a strong cast of Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Tobey MaGuire who is heard primarily in a voice-over role.

Then there’s director Jason Reitman who gave us such gems as JUNO and one of my favorite films UP IN THE AIR.

All that plus Joyce Maynard upon whose 2009 novel the movie is based, was coming to town to promote LABOR DAY.

labor-day-review-1Those were enough reasons for me to check it out.

And what a pleasant surprise that LABOR DAY turned out to be far more than the typical so-called chick flick. Not great mind you, but an interesting diversion.

As the story goes, Adele (played by Kate Winslet) is a lonely and depressed mother with a tween son whose life is in dire need of a distraction. That comes in the form of Josh Brolin at the local grocery store. He’s an escaped convict on the run who decides that Adele and her son’s place makes for the perfect hideout, so he kidnaps them in their own house, hoping to catch a freight train later that evening that would take him out of town.

Meanwhile as the law is conducting a county-wide manhunt for Brolin, he turns handyman around Winslet’s house—cleaning gutters, repairing screen doors, changing the oil in her car and bonding with her son.

And whenever there’s a close encounter with an outsider at the house he simply retreats to the backroom until the coast is clear.

20131208175000!Labor_Day_soundtrackAnd, and, and……

You guessed it, Adele becomes attracted to her outlaw houseguest who has now stayed over the entire, long Labor Day weekend.

But in Brolin’s words, “I can’t give you a family Adele, you already have one.”

Suffice it to say that there’s more to the story than this simple outline.

What we’ve got here is an unusual and dare I suggest, intelligent love story.

Or as author Joyce Maynard described it during the Q & A session following our screening: “A love story for people who have some miles on them.”

LABOR DAY for Super Bowl weekend scoring a C+.

And you’ll leave the theater with a lump in your throat.

(Reviewed at Alamo’s Mainstreet theater)

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2 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Labor Day’ Counter Programs Football Weekend

  1. PB says:

    Have Joyce Maynard and Nicholas Sparks ever been seen in the same room?

  2. jack p says:

    God forbid!!!!!!!

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