HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sizzle Beach, U.S.A.
Moulin Rouge
Morgan
Deathstalker
Harmonium
Alice
Pop Pirates
Sully
Tsunambee
Aftermath
Satan's Blood
John Wick: Chapter 2
Death in the Garden
Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
Tatie Danielle
Toni Erdmann
Massacre in Dinosaur Valley
Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith
Ironmaster
Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women of Outer Space, The
Disorderlies
Vision, The
Tall Guy, The
Stunt Squad
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
In the Doghouse
Gold
Serpico
Prevenge
Revenge of the Creature
   
 
Newest Articles
And Then? 6 Hollywood Films That Should Have Had Sequels But Didn't
Approaching Menace: The Frighteners on DVD
Oz Factor: Strange Australia on the Cusp of the 80s
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 2
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 1
Manor On Movies: The Unguarded Moment (1956)
Manor On Movies: Curse Of The Dead (1961)
Q & A with San Francisco Silent Film Festival artistic director Anita Monga
Put Your Bigfoot In It: Bigfoot on Film
Maulin' the Jack: The Jack the Ripper Story Bastardized
   
 
  3 Times a Charm Be careful what you wish forBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Letia Clouston
Stars: Lexi Giovagnoli, Carlo Marks, Noelle Perris, Michelle Glavan, Maxwell Glick, Kasey Marr, Matthew Thompson, Viktor Argo, Rae Latt, Vincent Giovagnoli, Tansy Alexander, Tom Wade, Fernando Rivera, Steven A. Brennan, Clint Jung
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Emma Neuman (Lexi Giovagnoli) is a studious, straight-A student harbouring a hopeless crush on Chris Duvall (Carlo Marks), the most popular guy in school. She finds herself facing a dilemma when Chris asks her to help him cheat on the history final in order to save his football scholarship. Around the same time, Emma comes to the aid of a strange homeless woman (Tansy Alexander) who turns out to be something akin to her fairy godmother. She bestows Emma with a magical necklace that gives her three chances to relive the events of the following day and see the consequences of her decisions.

On paper 3 Times a Charm must comes across like a teen variation on Groundhog Day (1993), a trick Richard Curtis pulled off only recently with About Time (2013). However, the tradition of such second chance wish-fulfilment fables dates back a lot further than the much-beloved Bill Murray comedy classic. An independent Canadian outing from ambitious indie auteur Letia Clouston, director of the popular web series Broken Toy and interesting behind-the-scenes in Hollywood thriller In the Dark (2006), this modest but engaging teen fantasy punches above its weight. While the low-budget shows through the sitcom level production values, Clouston and co-writer Michael Matteo have crafted a screenplay that is snappy and smart. Its central message draws explicitly upon an oft-paraphrased quote from philosopher-poet George Santayana, namely: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Screenplay analysts often put forward the notion that while male-driven stories chart the protagonists journey towards gaining empathy, female-driven stories are about women learning to assert themselves. Although somewhat of a simplification on general terms, in this instance that is more or less what happens initially. Emma’s attempt to pass her test results off as the work of Chris ends in disaster, whereupon she uses the magic necklace to grab a second chance. This time she puts her own needs first, only to end up alienating all her friends and wrecking her life all over again, precipitating the crucial third do-over. The plot stumbles somewhat given Emma’s so-called friends come out looking like a bunch of snarky, lazy, two-faced, self-centred jerks, only the heroine does not seem to notice. She does learn more about Chris and his personal problems as a result of picking up some seriously bad life lessons from his amoral, womanising father.

Gradually, through much trial and error, Emma does gain self-respect but also learns how to balance that with a crucial ability to nurture and encourage others. In keeping with the quote from Santayana, she learns how to learn from peripheral events, picking up clues that help solve daily problems. While less than subtle and undeniably cheesy in parts, the central moral comes across as rather charming including Emma’s use of a basketball game to teach Chris all about the American War of Independence. On the other hand, the antics of Emma’s prank-loving little brother (Vincent Giovagnoli) wear very thin. Lead actress Lexi Giovagnoli is an engaging presence and co-star Carlo Marks serves his role well, despite looking suspiciously mature for a high school student, but several supporting players come across as either stilted or shrill. Still, it is a film with its heart in the right place and the closing twist is really rather sweet.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1111 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Rachel Franke
  Desbris M
Stately Wayne Manor
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: