Combustible Celluloid
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With: Morgan Freeman, Paz Vega, Jonah Hill, Alexandra Berardi, Bobby Cannavale, Anne Dudek, Jennifer Echols, Vivianne Nacif, Leonardo Nam, Scott Norris, Kumar Pallana, Jim Parsons, Hector Atreyu Ruiz, Emiliano Torres
Written by: Brad Silberling
Directed by: Brad Silberling
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 82
Date: 09/11/2006

10 Items or Less (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Grocery Quirks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Brad Silberling has yet to exhibit much talent or personality in his films: Casper (1995), City of Angels (1998), Moonlight Mile (2002) and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). And so maybe he thought it was time, in an effort to salvage his soul, to make a "small" film. His gambit paid off. 10 Items or Less is completely weightless but also unpretentious and enjoyable in a relaxed way. Morgan Freeman plays a Hollywood actor that has not worked for four years. He has been offered a part in a "small" film, playing a grocery worker, and so he stops by a store to do research. He meets the feisty Scarlet (Paz Vega), and they wind up helping each other out. She offers him a ride when his driver fails to show up, and he helps her prepare for a job interview. Of course, nothing is ever really at stake here; we never find out if Scarlet gets the job. It's all about two completely different people just talking. Silberling even avoids the usual romantic comedy garbage in which the characters teach each other lessons and break down each other's barriers. The real-life Carson, Los Angeles locations combined with Silberling's wandering camera make for a living, breathing world that the characters inhabit. Best of all, the credits claim that although real products (Arby's, Starbucks, etc.) are used in the film, no product placement money was received. Bobby Cannavale co-stars as the market's manager, and Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman appear in a funny cameo. 10 Items or Less

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