Juli and Bryce have trouble connecting with each other in Flipped.
Middle school can be a confusing time while growing up. You’re starting to mature but still hold on to some parts of being a kid. You’re starting to get taller but still aren’t as big as the high school kids. The opposite sex is intriguing, but still kind of gross. Flipped captures these times in a heartwarming and thoughtful film that many can relate to.
Bryce and Juli first meet the day he moves into the house across the street.
Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) meets his neighbor and classmate Juli Baker (Madeline Carrol) for the first time in second grade. Juli likes him right away, but Bryce thinks girls are gross and shies away from her. For six years, Bryce tries to avoid Juli and even dates another girl in the hopes of getting her off his case. Despite all his attempts, Juli still likes Bryce and thinks it’s love. By the time they reach eighth grade, Bryce has begun to develop feelings for Juli after he sees her saddened at the loss of her favorite sycamore tree. While trying to win her affection, Bryce’s own aloofness and that of his family push Juli away. Only after a few heartfelt talks with his grandfather (John Mahoney) does Bryce truly understand what love really is.
Juli and a couple friends making a stand against cutting down the sycamore tree.
The confusion and excitement of that first middle school crush, and the ensuing chaos, is brought to light by director Rob Reiner. Bryce and Juli’s touching romance is well done by the two young actors. The film is an excellent mix of humor, drama, and a love story. While it is set in 1963, the period in both characters’ lives is easily relatable to any viewer. The film avoids heading into Nicholas Sparks territory and veers more into a combination of The Sandlot and a younger version of the underrated The Wackness.
Bryce looks up at Juli in the sycamore tree.
Romantic comedies tend to become mired with built-in genre clichés, yet not Flipped. Genuine moments are present such as the auction scene in which Bryce hopes to be picked by Juli, but is won by a more popular girl. He sees Juli enjoying her time with another boy, gets jealous, and foolishly attempts to kiss her in front of the entire school. We’ve all had an embarrassing gesture like that before, and the moment is presented masterfully.
Bryce walks dejectedly down the hall after not making the basketball team.
Bryce riding his bike away from the sycamore tree.
Callan McAuliffe (Bryce) wears black low cut and optical white high top chucks in some of the scenes in the film. There is one shot where Juli has on black high tops but that is the only sighting for her. The best chuck scenes are out on the street in front of his house, riding his bicyle or walking down the sidewalk.
Bryce walking down the street wearing his optical white high top chucks.
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