MOM AT THE MOVIES- The Lost City starring Sandra Bullock Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe

Juleen Walker

April 2, 2022

I am happy to report that my favorite Regal Cinemas had this movie available so, I went to my usual Regal theater. I have been so excited to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer. Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in this romantic adventure comedy. Sandra Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a jaded romance novelist. She is a grieving widow who has channeled her grief into her romance novels which have become an unmitigated success. The movie begins with her publicist calling her to convince her to go on a book tour. Sage does not want to go. She is so disenchanted with the entire series, that when she finally agrees to go on this book tour, it is an unmitigated disaster. She is very judgmental of her cover model, Alan, played by Channing Tatum before she even arrives at the first venue. She views him as just an empty, vapid human being. The irony of her judgment is that she erroneously assumes that he is shallow and it is that very assumption that makes her the shallow one of the pair. As Alan makes his entrance onto the stage, he playfully tries to engage Sage in a dip. She goes along with it unenthusiastically. The movie uses the phone call from her publicist and the first stop on the book tour, to show us that she is too afraid to leave her home. She is dissatisfied with her work and longs to write more meaningful stories. I got the distinct impression that she looks down her nose at her work. She and Alan get into an argument, she calls for a car and gets into the wrong car. She is taken to an unknown location by Abigail Fairfax, played by Daniel Radcliffe. He offers her a blank check, to help him find the lost city that she wrote about in her novel. When Sage declines and he has her chloroformed and kidnapped.

Alan decides he wants to be more than a pretty face on the covers of Loretta Sage’s book; He enlists the help of Sage's book agent, Beth Hatten, played by Da'vine Joy Randolph, and a mercenary named Jack Trainer, played by Brad Pitt to go rescue Sage. Alan meets Trainer at the airport and they both set out on a rescue mission fraught with danger from both his enemies and the jungle itself. Beth Hatton has some travel trouble. She and Alan arrive at different times. The rescue has many twists and turns that end with a jungle chase and a life-altering discovery.

I enjoyed this film. The script was funny, clever, and not overly formulaic. It took on the difficult themes of grief, loss, and acceptance and did a great job. Both Lorretta's and Alan’s respective existential crises explore the idea of self-fulfillment or lack thereof. As per her, usual Sandra Bullock kills it in this performance. Her character is very believable as an out-of-touch curmudgeon, forced to interact with someone who she does not respect. Channing Tatum seems very comfortable in the role of a lovable buffoon. This has been a common theme since he reprised his role in Magic Mike. I wonder if he has become pigeonholed into this role or if it is his preference.

The set pieces are beautifully done. The contrast between Loretta Sage’s apartment and the jungle is excellent. Her apartment is full of soft sad hues. There are grays and the lighting is dark with little pops of light. I appreciated how the pops of color and light were all on items that usually signify connecting with other people; her cellphone, keys, the window, and the answering machine. I was also delighted to realize that the color scheme for the pops of color in her apartment matched the cover of her book. When she is kidnapped and dragged on an adventure, all the colors become vibrant and brighter. The jungle and the ocean are bright greens and blues. The cinematographer did a fantastic job of darkening the lighting and the colors for tense moments. Can you tell I love the color grading in this film? The only gripe that I have with the cinematography is that the cave did not really look like a cave. It seemed fake like it was a set built for a musical or a Disney ride. I am giving this film 9 glitter Pantsuits out of 10. This movie is a mom must see.

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