Love & Debate (DVD Review)27 Jul, 2009 By: Eui-jo Marquez
Prebook 7/28/09; Street 8/25/09
Stars Gina Philips, Sean Astin, Adam Rodriguez, Rachel Miner, Bryan Greenberg, Sendhil Ramamurthy.
Love & Debate is a little movie with big ambition. It attempts to tackle serious issues that a teenage girl may face, from date rape and cheating boyfriends to the death of a family member.
The main character, Jordan, played by Gina Philips (“Monk,” CSI”), is charming and smart, and at 36 years old, she’s almost believable as a high-school senior, which says a lot about her youthful and cheery demeanor and acting skills. She does well with what she’s given, which is a story that tries too hard to do too many things.
Rounding out the cast are Joaquim de Almeida (Clear and Present Danger, “24”) as her father, Adam Rodriguez (“CSI: Miami”) as her boyfriend, Rachel Miner (“Californication”) as her best friend, Azura Skye (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, “CSI: Miami”) as her roommate and Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”), in an assortment of tye-dyed T-shirts throughout the movie, as her high-school debate coach. These actors form a warm family-like cast who keep the audience engaged.
This is an excellent film for young girls.Though the story is so complicated it’s almost comical, as the audience waits to see what more tragedy can possibly befall the heroine, it deals with issues that are very relevant. And Jordan confronts these issues as most teenage girls would, but then shows the audience how to handle them with grace.
What will really grab your attention is the soundtrack, which is full of lively Cuban rap music. It will make even the laziest couch potato want to move. This, Philips, and the beautiful, sunny scenes of Miami hold the film together and make it warm and entertaining.