Hot Take: Watch it? That’s correct, 10 points!
The challenge of coming-of-age romantic comedies is to stand out. As enjoyable as Pretty In Pink is, it’s hard to not blend it with Sixteen Candles at times. Same goes for 10 Things I Hate About You, Drive Me Crazy and She’s All That. What Starter for 10 does well is give a valiant effort to stand out in a genre that struggles to be unique. That doesn’t make it unique per se but it gives it the old college try.
Everything about this film is delightfully watchable. The cast has mostly moved on to bigger and better things but they all receive high marks for their contributions to the success of this slightly cheesy cinematic delight. Not that you would have known them in 2006 but you’ll definitely recognize James McEvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall. You might have seen Alice Eve, Catherine Tate and Dominic Cooper in something else, too. James Corden, now host of “The Late, Late Show” also finds his way into this one.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Spot On Casting
McEvoy is excellent as the awkward, trivia wunderkind college freshman from an underprivileged background just trying to fit in and figure himself out. Cumberbatch is fun as McEvoy’s sort of nemesis. Why wasn’t Hall this charismatic in The Gift?
- Quiz Show Subplot
Usually, the main character joins a club or does something to meet girls. This isn’t the case with Starter for 10‘s protagonist.
- There’s No Place Like Home For the Holidays
It was an eventful holiday break and quirky enough without being too over-the-top. (Committing to this “spoiler free” thing can be a challenge sometimes.)
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Okay, Maybe A Little Too Cliché
These movies just can’t help themselves.
- And Maybe There Was One Too Many Subplots
I found one I didn’t particularly care about. I’m sure you will, too.
- The Cure Soundtrack
It just felt like it was there for truly nostalgic purposes. We get it! It’s the ’80s. To me, The Cure has a tone and, for me, it didn’t fit here.