Nothing beats first love. Or so they say. (The cynic in me disagrees, but let’s ignore her for a moment.) When Philipp offered me the file some days ago, telling me that it’s about puppy love, I hesitated for a moment, but let him copy it on my flash drive anyway. I hadn’t heard about the film before, and I suppose I wanted it to surprise me. Banking on Philipp’s assurance that it was good movie, I watched it on Thursday with Maki and found it a pleasant enjoyment.
Based on Wendelin Van Draanen’s 2001 book of the same title, Flipped tells the story of Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) and Julie (Madeline Carroll), two eighth graders stumbling through their first experience of love. At seven, Julie sees Bryce for the first time when his family moves into the house across theirs. Fascinated with his “dazzling” eyes, she decides that it’s love and stalks him, forcing Bryce to spend the next six years avoiding her, until his grandfather makes him take a second look at Julie and something in him flips.
The movie (and I suppose the book as well) makes good use of its title. “Flipped” refers to Bryce and Julie’s contrasting perspectives, the unexpected changes of heart they both undergo, as well as the craziness of it all. As Bryce’s best friend Garrett says to him, “Have you flipped? What’s the matter with you?” Indeed, feelings fluctuate at a fast pace in this film, just like they do in real life. While not exactly relatable, the characters’ circumstances prove engaging enough to hold the viewer’s attention. Childhood preoccupations (chicken eggs, sycamore trees, the obsession with that perfect first kiss) and light humor combine to create an innocent, refreshing film—a rare find in today’s plethora of hackneyed plots and clichéd characters. Flipped provides the viewer with a chance to strip away adult skepticism and if not believe, then at least hope in the youthful dream of first love.
‘You can see the whole world from here.’
‘A girl like that doesn’t live next door to everyone.’
‘Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss; but every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and once you do, nothing will ever compare.’