The backstory: The Tourist is nominated for three Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture, Comedy; Best Actress in a Comedy, Angelina Jolie; and Best Actor in a Comedy, Johnny Depp. Also, it's set in Venice, which is my favorite city in the world.
The basics: Angelina Jolie, a mysterious British woman living in Paris and being trailed by British police, receives a note from her lover, and the reason she is being tailed. He instructs her to get on a train, find a man around his height and build, and convince the authorities it's him.
My thoughts: Few things make me happier than films with frequent aerial shots and films shot in Venice, and The Tourist delivered both with gusto. The film has a somewhat unusual pace, but it appealed to me as a fan of old-fashioned spy capers. In some ways it defies genres. It's part adventure, part mystery, part romance, part comedy and part travelogue. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are both superb. I would not classify it is as a comedy, but they both deftly move their characters between the dramatic and the comedic.
There are jaw-dropping twists and turns. There are swoon-worthy scenes. There are laughs and edge-of-your-seat moments. Overall, it's great fun.
The verdict: The Tourist may not be a great film, but it is perhaps the most enjoyable film I've seen this year. It's a film I'll purchase on dvd and watch again and again. It's perhaps the next best thing to being in Venice itself.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 103 minutes
Release date: It's in these theaters now
Source: I paid to see at the Madison Theater
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