Like the conventions of reunions themselves, there’s nothing particularly new or deep about 10 Years. A decade after high school, a gaggle of uniformly attractive grads gather to drink a lot and learn a little about how life really isn’t like high school. Yet there’s a relaxed, unforced, melancholy sweetness and swing to this modest iteration of the Big Chill/Return of the Secaucus 7 formula, a pleasing directorial debut for screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall).
Key to the pleasure is the accumulation of interesting rising young stars, each bursting with good health and great cheekbones, all apparently graduates of the No. 1 high school on Forbes‘ list of Most Genetically Fortunate Secondary Schools in the U.S. In his fifth movie released in this year of living busily, Channing Tatum plays a nice fellow who plans to propose to his girlfriend (real-life wife Jenna Dewan Tatum) but still has feelings for his high school sweetheart (Rosario Dawson). His costars, including Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, and Justin Long, work with an easy give-and-take encouraged by the movie’s structure. Tatum may pull focus simply by virtue of his status as Cutie of the Moment, but the movie pays equal attention, for instance, to the famous musician (Oscar Isaac) as he reencounters his secret crush from all those years ago (Kate Mara) — and to the well-observed dynamic between the jocular, hard-partying former class bully (Pratt) and his designated driver of a wife (Graynor).
10 Years suggests that real adulthood is measured not by what one does in life (although, happily, there are no jobless boy slackers or girl pixies at this reunion) but by how present one is as a human being in the world today. In that regard, these alumni are nicely grown up. B+