Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:11 pm | Fair 49º


Cinema in Focus: ‘Flipped’

The film is a study in understanding the perspective of other people

4 Stars — Wholesome

Rob Reiner has the ability to tell a story like few of his generation. While he may be known to some only as “Meathead,” son-in-law of the legendary Archie Bunker on TV’s All in the Family, it is in his role as a director and producer where he hits his stride. His earlier films The Princess Bride and Stand By Me have become classics in the annals of cinema.

Flipped continues the tradition and explores such questions as: What does it mean to fall in love as a teenager? How do those feelings mature and change over time? What roles do our parents and grandparents play in modeling a mature, loving relationship?

Flipped is a 1950s period piece that takes us through the early teen years of Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll) and Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) as they discover their feelings toward each other. Needless to say, boys and girls mature at different levels and different speeds. While Juli may think that Bryce has “dreamy eyes” at age 12, Bryce is a million miles away from romance at that age. Five years later, Bryce may be heartsick in love with Juli — but she now thinks all boys are brats!

In a clever twist of storytelling, Reiner takes us through this period of adolescence through the eyes of both Juli and Bryce. Once you have seen the facts and feelings from a girl’s point of view, you are “flipped” to seeing the same experience through the eyes of a boy. Similarly, once you’ve seen life through the eyes of an eighth-grader, you’re “flipped” to see the same relationship from the perspective of a young man and woman a few years older in high school.

While we come to expect that the feelings of teenage boys and girls are volatile, the deep wisdom that comes through in this tale is the role that parents and grandparents play in maturing the feelings of these young adults. Each one is greatly impacted by the feelings, judgments, fears and trust exhibited by the older role models in their lives. Whether a young child or a teenager, our offspring watch us like a hawk. When we misjudge people, they do the same. When we reach out in compassion, they are likely to exhibit the same sense of generosity.

Bryce’s father, Steven (Anthony Edwards), is insecure and passes judgment on Juli because he doesn’t like her father, Richard (Aidan Quinn). Bryce’s mother, Patsy (Rebecca De Mornay), has a heart of compassion for Juli and her family, who live across the street from them. It is Bryce’s maternal grandfather Chet (John Mahoney) who models a mature relational wisdom that brings both sides of the street together despite their differences.

What makes Flipped a great story is its ability to show how the growth of our feelings and the maturing of our minds can be made healthy through the smallest acts of kindness and loving behavior. So much of our good behavior comes from modeling the good behavior we observed in our families. So, too, are the prejudices that we exhibit as a direct result of those exhibited by our mothers and fathers.

Reiner credits this film to his son, who read the story to him while they were on a family vacation. The film, based on the novel Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, is a wonderful opportunity for any family to explore the meaning of “true love,” and why real love is not just about attraction, but it is also built on a foundation of compassion, trials, forgiveness and faith.


» Having an ability to see life from another person’s perspective is a mark of maturity. Do you remember when you first realized that others see the world differently than you do? What caused this realization?

» The fact that women and men develop at different rates makes adolescence all the more confusing. How did this difference impact your own teen romances?

» The impact of parents on their children cannot be overestimated. As you look at your own parents’ lives, how are you living life as they lived it?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.