In modern projection, most movies unspool from the center of a giant, horizontal platter, thread through the top of a projector, and pay out of the bottom to wind around a different, empty platter. That platter fills up with the print, and the movie is ready to thread through again, back onto the platter where it once resided, starting everything over. As the film plays out from its center, the spool gets thinner and thinner. Flipped, the new coming-of-age dramedy from director Rob Reiner, unspools in the exact same mechanical manner as actual film, unwinding from reel one and growing thinner with every passing minute.
Has my heart grown so cold and battle-scarred that I can't allow myself to be completely won over by Flipped, or is Flipped such a load of flavorless mush that there's not enough charm for me to embrace? I like it in pieces, which is funny seeing as how the movie makes a big deal about how sometimes the parts aren't always greater than the whole. Boy, howdy, is that ever true here.
A sort of He Said, She Said for the tween set, Flipped bounces back and forth between endless, lifeless narration from its leads, Callan McAuliffe as Bryce Loski, a character defined by how nice his eyes are, and Madeline Carroll as Juli Baker, the "weird" girl across the street, who's not really that weird (in this movie's terms, weird equals raising chickens). Their story ping-pongs back and forth from their two points-of-view, from the moment they first met as children, up until their eight grade year, in rosy 1963.