Movie review: Paradise (PG13)

Movie review: Paradise (PG13)

Comedy-drama/86 minutes

Rating: 1.5/5

Diablo Cody exploded onto the scene with her screenplay for indie hit Juno (2007), a self-consciously hip comic drama that showcased her clipped rhythms and love of wordplay.

Paradise is her debut as auteur - she writes, directs and produces this story of Lamb (Julianne Hough), a girl from a deeply religious Midwest community who, following a tragic accident, takes a personal stand against God and heads to Las Vegas to partake of "drinking, games of chance; the basic abominations".

That choice of words shows that Cody has not lost her gift for the snappy line, but everything else - the casting of the bland Hough against the overpoweringly hyperkinetic Russell Brand as a kind-hearted bartender who cares for her, to the choppy pacing and repetitiveness of scenes, to the lack of control over the fairy-tale tone - causes this work to crash faster and harder than the plane that almost killed Lamb.

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