Monday, February 23, 2009


Genre: Dramedy
Synopsis: 5 strangers get stuck at the airport together.
About: Yes, this is the infamous "remake" of The Breakfast Club
Writer: Lizzy Weiss

Okay I have a suggestion to the people realeasing this film. Do not, under any circumstances, let any media print that this is in any way related to The Breakfast Club. Like me. Come to my place right now, break down my door, and force me to log into my blog and erase this paragraph. Cause I'm telling you right now, you do not want people comparing this to The Breakfast Club. It's like comparing a cracker to a croissant. It is really not a good idea. Every time I read a line - heck every time a character's name came up - I thought, "How does that compare to The Breakfast Club." So please do that ASAP. For your own good. Now on to the review...

It's the day before Thanksgiving and five strangers decide to "bump" themselves to the next flight in order to snag some free tickets. We learn that the reason for their bumping is that each is having their own issues back home which prevent them from being in any sort of hurry to get there. A few more hours in the middle of nowhere is better than a few extra hours in hell. Hey, I think we can all relate.

The five characters sort of "bump" into each other, as you sometimes do at an airport, and begin a seriously accelerated group friendship. There's C.C., 21. Poor C.C.'s in love with a guy who will only ever see her as a friend. Tabitha, 20s, is a stuck up bitch with a high-paying job. She's engaged to the Cuban-born Omar, a dirt poor musician. Then there's Max, 20s, a guy who's been swallowed up by a job that sends him everywhere in the world but home. And finally (and most unfortunately), there's Eleanor. Eleanor is a mini-celebrity, has 1.5 million myspace friends, and her alias is...yes...Veronica Vodka (consider yourself lucky if you don't know the real-life person she's portraying). I'll get to that in a bit.

Max and C.C. hit it off immediately. Omar and Tabitha start their rift soonafter. And Eleanor pokes and prods into everyone's life - though she's mostly interested in Omar. For the most part, Bumped is like a reverse Breakfast Club. Whereas everyone started off hating each other in that movie, then slowly grew closer, everyone in bumped starts off liking each other before slowly breaking apart. Of course they all come back together in the end, but it's interesting how they approach the genre from a different angle.

I think the biggest faux pas in the script is Tila Tequila - er, I mean Veronika Vodka. Cause you see, once you include a celebrity in your story, the story is no longer about people. It's about people...and a celebrity. It peels away some of that real life autheticity. Sure it's possible that you could run into a celebrity at the airport and start hanging out, but it's unlikely, and actually comes off as a bit of a gimmick.

The dialogue - which started out pretty standard - improves tremendously as the script goes on. In The Breakfast Club, there are about 30 classic lines. Most movies would be lucky to have 1. So I'm not going to hold that against Bumped. But as the relationships became deeper, the truth starts coming out, and that's when the dialogue began to soar. Sure, the situations are a little heavy on the drama, but it worked. Why? Because they're in an airport. And for people like me (who don't live in them), an airport is a very emotional place. It means you're going home, or going to meet somebody important, or heading back for the holidays, all things that force you to deal with and assess where you are (and who you are) in life. I am never more emotionally schizophranic than the moment I step into an airport.

In the end, Max helps C.C. realize she's spending her life being more than a little pathetic (turns out that guy she liked "borrowed" 500 dollars out of her account - for a weekend with another girl no less). C.C. helps Max realize that his work is preventing him from having a life. Omar and Tabitha realize they aren't meant to be together. And Veronica Vodka? Poor girl realizes that she can't hide behind her celebrity anymore and that maybe she misses what it feels like to be a "normal" person.

I have to admit, Bumped got to me. There was a moment about 60% in where I realized I was truly emotionally invested in this group. I mean, it's still no Breakfast Club. But you know what? It doesn't have to be.

[ ] trash
[ ] barely readable
[xx] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned from Bumped: Make sure to connect your characters to their setting, whatever it is. Had these five been stuck at a laundromat, for example, it wouldn't have been nearly as powerful.