Directed by Don Roos
Written by Don Roos
Starring Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natasha Henstridge, Tony Goldwyn
Bounce is based on an intriguing premise. Buddy Amaral (Ben Affleck) is an adman, celebrating signing a big contract with an airline when the flight is delayed. He runs into Greg Janello (Tony Goldwyn), a family man who is disappointed that he won’t get home in time to spend time with his son. Buddy decides to do a good deed: he pull strings and switches tickets with Janello.
But the plane crashes. Janello’s wife Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow) is devastated by the news. Buddy feels guilty, especially after an ad campaign he designs glosses over the accident. At the Clio Award ceremony, Buddy, drunk and guilty, acts out* and starts a fall into deep guilt. He arranges to meet with Abby. And slowly, they fall in love.
This is one of Ben Affleck’s best performances. His Buddy is a flawed man, but one who wants to do the right thing, and has to tear his life apart before he’s finally able to do it.
Gwyneth Paltrow was at the top of her game here. Her Abby also is filled with guilt, since she had wanted Greg to come home early, and her emotions when she’s waiting and hoping that Greg somehow survived are heartbreaking.
Director Don Roos had already scored with The Opposite of Sex. Bounce moved away from the comedy in that film into one of pure drama. The film was a minor success, but not what it deserved to be. Despite its heavy background, it’s really a romantic comedy without the comedy part, but which delves deeply into how a relationship can develop.
* As bizarre as his actions are, they are nothing like the debacle of the 1991 Clio Awards, where the entire ceremony – starting late and with none of the organizers showing up – ended up as a drunken fiasco where people started just grabbing awards and taking them home.