Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rob Reiner’s “Flipped” A Major Studio Disaster Film


What has happened to Rob Reiner?

His latest film, called “Flipped,” has made just around $690,000 since its release on August 6th. It’s dead, it’s over, it’s gone. A total write off of last $25 million.

“Flipped” got mixed reviews when it debuted. The trade papers didn’t like it. Some bloggers and a few newspaper reviewers were okay with it. It registered a high 68% on Rottentomatoes.com, with a cadre of little known bloggers pulling it up.

But “Flipped” is a Warner Bros. It’s not some little indie. And it has names, albeit not box office magicians: Rebecca deMornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, and Aidan Quinn. They are all fine actors.

“Flipped” falls in the Rob Reiner CV closer to “Stand By Me” and less like “When Harry Meets Sally.” It’s a little piece of nostalgia. It had little press or publicity when it was released. Maybe Warner’s thought it would just find an audience on its own. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen anymore.

Reiner’s decline as a director has been wild. Long gone are the days of “Stand by Me,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “This is Spinal Tap.” His last hit was the godawful “Bucket List,” a sentimental bit of treacle that no one would have gone to if it hadn’t had Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman showboating around.

Reiner had an amazing run from “Spinal Tap” in 1984¬† to “The American President” in 1995. Also in that group were “A Few Good Men,” “Misery.” The Princess Bride,” and “The Sure Thing.”

But beginning in 1996, he lost his focus. “Ghosts of Mississippi” was a misguided movie about the civil rights movement. It was panned and did poorly at the box office. Following that came¬† “The Story of Us,” “Alex and Emma,” and “Rumor Has It.” Three duds. They lacked Reiner’s acerbic wit, his sense of parody and satire, and his delicious humor. Remember, it was Rob’s late mom, Estelle, who uttered the famous line in “Harry…Sally”: “I’ll have what she’s having.” In these movies all of that sensibility is gone.

Oh, how I long for the days of the earlier, funnier Reiner. I’m sure he does, too. Rob, call Chris Guest. Get away from the pretentiousness. Get back to where you once belonged.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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