Gloria Bell is a tough movie to review.
The positives: great cast (Julianne Moore, Brad Garrett, Rita Wilson, Jeanne Tripplehorn, a grown-up Michael Cera, and even Rudy/Sean Astin in a super strange sequence); great soundtrack (Who can't relate to the pleasure of singing Air Supply while driving?); a few moments that were kind of beautiful/funny/real/joyful, especially between Gloria and her daughter.
Here's the Gloria Bell teaser blurb: "A free-spirited divorcee spends her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. She soon finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with the joys of budding love and the complications of dating."
To me, that description promises something light, fun, hopeful. And while the movie wasn't the exact opposite of light, fun, and hopeful, it was a bit light on the light and the fun (though possibly, possibly twas a little hopeful at the end).
The negatives... The movie is slow. I kept thinking, we'll get in the groove here soon, but we never did. Gloria Bell is likeable, but I never quite figured her out. As good as the soundtrack is, the score is kind of creepy. There were moments when the instrumental music made me think something super dark was coming. Unsettling. Speaking of unsettling, lots of screen time for a hairless cat. Also plenty of screen time for Julianne Moore's breasts (small but lovely, I guess, but I didn't need to see them so often). There's also a lot of drinking and some pot smoking. One of my friends described the movie as filled with awkward moments (kudos to the actors for making them seem so). Another said, "This is one that makes you thankful for your marriage."
One lingering question from the film: Do clubs where well-dressed, normal looking, middle-aged people dance to 70s-ish music really exist? Asking for a friend.
I don't feel like I wasted my afternoon, but I don't think I'll urge others to rush out and see Gloria Bell. Maybe if my friends and I had more to time to reflect and discuss afterward and make sense of it all, my review would be more positive.
But alas, school pick-up was calling so we all moved on. In the window between movie and school pick-up, I took advantage of the gorgeous day to pop into The Pink Elephant (hospital resale shop).
All in all, a good spring afternoon.