I really liked the movie. It seemed a pretty accurate portrayal of life here. Most films filmed here are going to look like a travelogue for Hawaii since it's pretty hard to take a bad picture anywhere you point the camera. Hawaii actually looks just like it did in the movie.
I thought the kid who played Sid did a wonderful job of a high school jock with a Punahou education. (I believe the director has a friend that went to Punahou he would visit here.) Smart, articulate and a lot happening below the surface if you get past his slacker style. I also think Bo Bridges was perfect as the semi-alcoholic trust fund baby. The scenes on Kauai in the bar were spot on.
At the end when Clooney changes his mind and doesn't go with developing the land is not really the perfect Hollywood ending. He still needs to figure out how to keep it without developing it. The taxes must be killer on that much private land. Something will need to be done in the future, whether it's giving some back to state or developing a portion.
Slack Key/Hawaiian music is everywhere so it seemed natural there was so much of it in this movie. About four months ago I went to a service for a friend who had died and Jeff Peterson played a song he had written for the occasion.
It's always kind of cool to see places you recognize in a movie and this one had tons of places for me. From Queens hospital, the corner Clooney jogs around, the house where Clooney lives, Punahou school, streets in Kahala where the realtor has a listing, just about every scene was recognizable to me.
My daughter is 22 now and I can totally see us going together to check out a guy if my wife was having an affair.
I didn't think they glossed over Clooney's wife's death. In my experience, she seemed to go down hill quickly and looked like how someone would look after pulling life support, which I have had to do.
I didn't see any holes in the movie. I'm neutral on Clooney. If he got any initial breaks because of Rosemary, he still had to eventually earn his own way, which in my opinion, he has. There's many kids of famous actors that try but don't really succeed. Sylvester Stallone's kid who recently past away comes to mind. Also, how's Bruce Willis kid's career going? But then I don't particularly like Tim Robbins so it's hard for me to accept the character he's playing even if he's doing a great job, so I can understand someone not liking Clooney.
The author Kaui Hart Hemmings was born in Hawaii. Her dad, big wave surfer, Fred Hemmings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hemmings
was also born here, so she does have some sense of what it is like to grow up and live in Hawaii.
Great movie and one that I think will hold up over time.