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:: The Rebound

The cougar concept seems to becoming more and more prevalent on screens both big and little these days. It started with Samantha Jones from Sex and the City (please don’t write in, I have seen The Graduate, but we’re talking 21st Century) then tennis player Mark Philippoussis decided to make out with a few older women with the excuse of searching for love. Now it’s the turn of Courtney Cox-Arquette and the unfortunate Cougar Town to make wrinkle and cradle-snatcher jokes.

The Rebound, however, takes a more mature and sensible approach to the older woman, younger man scenario. Most significant is the fact that unlike Courtney Cox Arquette or Kim Cattrall, Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a normal person.

A stay at home mum, Sandy (Zeta-Jones) spends her day in suburbia with two kids and a husband, trapped in the same daily routine. A spanner is thrown well and truly into the works after she busts her cheating husband (there seems to be a lot of those around at the moment as well) and moves into the city with children in tow.

She finds an apartment above a coffee-shop, where the much younger man Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha - The Hangover, National Treasure) is struggling through life after being dumped by his French, green card-seeking wife. Asked to babysit on the spur of the moment, he slips into the family’s life after being hired as their nanny.

The best thing about this film is how writer/director Bart Freundlich makes the relationship natural and honest. Aram is not a dumb college jock with a six-pack, and Sandy is not trying to rekindle her youth by shagging everything under 30. They are two people who like each other, but just happen to be born fifteen years apart.

Ageist themes aside, it’s a straightforward, run of the mill romance flick. It has the regular ups and downs and will-they/won’t-they that isn’t ground breaking, but it manages to bring something a little different to the Rom-Com landscape.

Art Garfunkel scored himself a gig as Aram’s very Jewish father, and hopefully it’s a sign he’ll be notching up a few more in the future because he seems perfect in a goofy comedy role. The kids are extremely well-adjusted and mature for their age, like they always are in Hollywood films, but the banter between them and Aram is fun and fresh.

It won’t be a waste of a night if you’ve got nothing else more important to do.