2014-01-17 12:23
What it's about:

After a near-fatal accident, 21-year-old Lamb Mannerheim is beginning to realise that the world is much bigger than her little God-fearing Montana town. Armed with a big, fat insurance payout and a checklist of untried sins, there’s only one place for her first taste of temptation: Las Vegas! Now, this wide-eyed, innocent girl will have to navigate the bright lights, seedy bars and dark alleys of Sin City. With the help of a few new friends, she just might survive her strange adventure and discover what it really means to be alive.

What we thought:

Academy award winning writer Cody Diablo (Juno) makes her directorial debut in Paradise which left me with much to be desired.

In Paradise, Julianne Hough (Footloose, Rock of Ages) reprises her role of a small town girl. This time around her character is bland, boring and cannot dance. 

This is the story of Lamb (Julianne Hough) before and after surviving a near-fatal plane accident that left her body scarred and her psychologically traumatised. She very dramatically denounces God’s existence at her church and high tails it out of town to go and experience life in Sin City. Armed with a bucket list of sins Lamb hits the Las Vegas night life where she meets bartender William (Russell Brand) and singer, Loray (Octavia Spencer) who guide her through her ‘real life experience.’

Julianne Hough’s portrayal of Lamb did not appeal to me. Is it just me or does she play the same type of role all the time?

Moving along, nothing in this movie seems to fit for me. Lamb wavers between her before and after personalities throughout the film and there is no real character development. In my opinion Lamb could have put more effort into being sinful but alas she is an epic fail. Russell Brand’s out of character portrayal of a bartender who genuinely cares for Lamb was a bit too ‘sweet’ for me, it made me cringe in some scenes. Octavia Spencer makes a brave attempt at portraying a cynical, been there, done that, know it all, but again she seems out of place here. 

While there are some laugh out loud moments and witty dialogue it does not sustain the plot which goes nowhere slowly. We know that the protagonist has to experience a life changing moment through lessons learnt on her ‘journey’ but Lamb’s ‘big revelation’ comes a bit too easy for her. Her ‘moment’ happens while she is in the bathroom speaking to ‘the magical prostitute Amber (Kathleen Rose Perkins)’ whom she paid to stay with her.

Besides the witty dialogue and the laugh out loud moments there is nothing special about this movie. Best to give this one a miss.

Cody Diablo’s, Paradise is nothing more than an innocent lamb led to slaughter.

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