Aloha  is the latest film from director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) and stars Bradley Cooper as Brian Gilcrest- a military contractor who returns to his home in Hawaii to supervise the launch of a weapons satellite. Upon arrival, he runs into his ex-girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) but starts to become attached to a preppy Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) that was assigned to watch over him.
Clichéd throughout. Normally, Crowe’s writing is pretty spectacular. He has a pretty keen ear for dialogue and he knows how to keep an audience’s attention during lengthy conversation scenes. All of this is on display here; the dialogue is well written, witty, and realistic. But everything else in the screenplay is horrendous. It’s riddled with romantic comedy clichés, and the overall narrative of the film is confusing. Every scene in the film feels vastly different than the last and most of the character motivations are completely preposterous.
Performances are key. Another one of Crowe’s traits is the way he can get performances out of his actors. Across the board, everyone in the film is fantastic. Cooper, Stone, Murray and McAdams are obviously trying their hardest to work with the lousy material they were presented with. Stone probably has the hardest performance to pull off because her character is essentially a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She does her best with it, though. The chemistry between her and Cooper is believable and extremely fun to watch.
Chopped up like a Jigsaw victim. The biggest problem with the film is the actual flow of it. There are multiple scenes that feel like entire segments were edited out, making scenes feel awkward and at times hard to watch. A majority of the film feels pointless and almost dreamlike in stature. The scenes involving Stone and Cooper are really well done and vastly entertaining, but unfortunately, they go nowhere and don’t advance the story whatsoever. The rest of the film that does advance is horrible plotted and really awkward.
Well acted, but shoddily written.