Aloha has taken some flak ahead of its release, mainly due to the infamous Sony email hacking scandal which revealed the studio’s grim outlook for the film.
The romantic-comedy-drama written and directed by Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) feels at its heart like a love letter to Hawaii, wrapped in a rom-com, wearing a lei. It’s enjoyable on the surface and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but a contrived narrative makes it difficult to invest in the central characters and their relationships.
Aloha feels at its heart like a love letter to Hawaii, wrapped in a rom-com, wearing a lei
The always delightful Emma Stone is pleasant to watch as the eager young fighter pilot tasked with babysitting Bradley Cooper’s disgraced military contractor. He is a mess of a man who has returned to Hawaii – the site of his previous career triumphs – looking for redemption.
With a cast as strong as Stone, Cooper, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, Rachel McAdams and John Krasinski, it’s hard to imagine Aloha wouldn’t be a hit. Unfortunately the depth lacking in the characters and the script is only momentarily found in beautiful snippets of Hawaiian culture and legends – all too briefly showcased in a subplot that is lost among many competing subplots.
Cameron Crowe is a romantic, adept at penning offbeat films that sweep the audience into his universe where love conquers all. If you have a fondness for the director and the actors’ involved it will help with the enjoyment of Aloha, but it’s Hawaii that audiences will fall in love with.
Star rating: *** /5
In Australian cinemas, June 4
(Review first published in City Hub)