Flipped is the story of Bryce and Juli. When they first meet as second-graders, Juli knows it’s love. But Bryce isn’t so sure. Girl-phobic and easily embarrassed, young Bryce does everything he can to keep his outspoken wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length … for the next six years, which isn’t easy since they go to the same school and live across the street from each other. But if Juli finally looks away, will it be Bryce’s turn to be dazzled? The film takes Bryce and Juli from grade school to junior high, through triumph and disaster, family drama and first love, as they make the discoveries that will define who they are – and who they are to each other.
Director Rob Reiner was drawn to this story when he read the book on which it is based — written by Wendelin Van Draanen — with his son after the boy was assigned it at school. Deciding to make it into a film, Reiner changed the book’s modern-day setting to the late 1950s-early 1960s.
“I wanted the story to feel timeless and pure,” Reiner told the Los Angeles Times, “in a time before texting and Facebook. I thought it was important to strip away the technology so we could get at the true emotions and feelings and make it as innocent as possible. I guess you could say I wanted to make it closer to my own childhood.”
The era does coincide with Reiner’s own transition into adolescence. It’s also a time that he revisited to great effect in an earlier film, Stand By Me, and like that film, the nostalgia in Flipped shines through in the cinematography and in the soundtrack, which includes some of Reiner’s favorite love songs of the era. But even though some of the nostalgia is time-specific, most of the feelings in the film will resonate with anyone who’s ever had a first love, or a crush that they look back on fondly every once in a while.
“Flipped” is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Credit: Ben Glass