Jamie Linden

10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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Jamie Linden and Some Elves in an Airport

Merry early Christmas to Jamie Linden. The budding writer-director has just been given what could be a sizable gift from Paramount and Walden Media, as the 10 Years filmmaker has been set to write and direct their The Flight Before Christmas project. Variety reports that the film, which sounds as if it was conceived almost totally to serve its punny title and in complete disregard for whether or not this plot sounds funny or fresh, actually comes from an idea from Walden executive Evan Turner and revolves around “a family trying to survive the plane ride from hell on Christmas Eve.” I have broken out in hives already. Linden’s resume may also make you dear readers break out in hives. The filmmaker has previously pulled double duty with screenwriting and producing credits on We Are Marshall (hives because you’re crying too much and it’s irritating your delicate skin) and Dear John (hives because it’s a Nicholas Sparks adaptation and a terrible one at that). Linden’s work will next be seen later this month in his 10 Years, that high school reunion film that stars everyone that he both wrote (loosely based on his own experiences at his high school reunion, brave soul that he is) and directed (as his debut). At the very least, Linden sounds like he has a ton of famous friends that he can potentially dispatch for Flight, which has yet to commence casting.

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Steve Carell got a lot of free time on his hands after leaving The Office, and even if that exit (set for April) remains bittersweet, the opportunity it leaves for the actor to do more movies is an exciting one. He’s already shown massive range from 40-Year-Old Virgin to Little Miss Sunshine, and apparently he’s staying in the semi-serious vein with Dogs of Babel. According to a press release from Mandate Pictures, the movie will focus on “Paul Iverson, a linguistics professor, who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Police rule her death an addicent, but Paul is not quite sure. The only witness to her death is their dog Lorelei.” So what does he do? He attempts to teach the dog to talk in order to find closure. The concept, based on the novel of the same name by Carolyn Parkhurst, sounds like a heart-breakingly sweet one. When we lose a close loved one, the search for answers is one that leads down any avenue that seems even remotely promising, and this story seems to take that to a sort of extreme that can still be rooted in reality. How badly would you want your dog to speak if she could tell you the answer to the ultimate personal question? The film will be written by We Are Marshall and Dear John scribe Jamie Linden, and the production is currently in search of a director.

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Dear John never strikes the right balance between a Nicholas Sparks movie and a Lasse Hallström movie.

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published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


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