Well, that happened.
There wasn’t much to say about Alison Maclean’s new film. But to appease any fears up front it’s far from bad. It’s not particularly boring, either. Yet, there is definitely more engaging content to be watched elsewhere. I’ve chalked up The Rehearsal as a decent mesh of drama and comedic value that works some of the time.
The premise is simple: based on the debut novel of Eleanor Catton, we begin with Isolde, played by Ella Edward, bearing witness to the sexual affairs of her sister Victoria (played by Rachel Roberts) with her music teacher, Mr. Saladin, which turns into a huge scandal. Meanwhile, Stanley (James Rolleston) our protagonist, applies and successfully is admitted into the Institute, a prestigious drama school. The first quarter of the movie gives us insight into the life and times of Stanley, his adjustments at the school, and the relationships he develops with his classmates. This subplot is interwoven with the delicate nature of the sex scandal, as Stanley’s group of classmates decides to emulate that event as a show due to a live, major audience at the end of the school year.
Oh, Stanley and Isolde also start dating – that’s a thing. An immediate problem with the relationship? Well, Stan’s a High School grad at 18. Isolde is 15. As you can expect, conflict and issues arise.
The Rehearsal is at least deserving of a watch because films that diverge from the normality of overly dramatic and fringed love scenes, cheesy sudden death scenes, and completely predictable narratives warrant a mention (if it weren’t obvious, this movie had the capacity to do ALL of those things, and do them badly). Although The Rehearsal doesn’t do anything new, it’s unique in how it takes it’s drama-oriented self. It’s okay, in short. However, the entire film sent mixed signals.
Nevertheless, (and this goes back to the previously made point of mixed signals), films that take the viewer for a ride with something to take from it are those to be cherished. The Rehearsal was entertaining in the moment, with its wacky cast, somewhat interesting plot, and the effects of loss on the characters, but does little to warrant a second watch.
The film hits theaters on July 7.