You may be hit in the face by minor spoilers.
Some movies just have that something special that appeals to you but might not work for everyone (for instance, critics give Stretch an 83% rating, while the audience thinks it’s worth 64% on Rotten Tomatoes). I think Stretch is that kind of a movie, either you hate it’s purposely over the edge style and use of extremely colorful cinematography or you just happen to love it for the very same reasons. For me, surprisingly enough, Stretch was epic and after watching it twice, I’m desperate to call it one of my favorite rom-coms out there.
Joe Carnahan is a name some of you might already know but for me, as I had not seen Smokin’ Aces before watching Stretch, it didn’t ring a bell. From now on though I’m keeping my eye on him because I like the way he tells a story and the fact that he isn’t afraid to be a little crazy when it comes to his storytelling. Because, let me be honest, Stretch is completely nuts, especially since it actually sounds and looks like a romantic comedy with its idyllic opening and fairytale ending. Luckily a lot of crazy happens in the middle and the movie oozes with irony. So even with the most romantic moments, where the story finds itself border lining ridiculous, you can’t help to laugh and agree that a make-out session is the way to end any movie.
So in short, Stretch tells a story of a wannabe actor turned into a limo driver called Stretch (Patrick Wilson), who gets dumped right after an orgasmic climax (ouch), which leads him into pretty much hating his entire life and everything that is related to it. The movie plot mostly takes place during that one night when Stretch decides to get his shit together – which means he steals a customer from his biggest rival and well, then things get a little weird. First of all, this client is beyond mental and second of all, this lunatic is being portrayed by Chris Pine of all people! Pine with his crystal blue eyes manages to portray Karos, a guy who you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. He is ridiculous and yet, for all comedic purposes, extremely entertaining. It helps that Stretch the movie tries to take itself seriously and it’s that applied seriousness that makes Karos, as well as Stretch himself funny.
The storyline takes us, as said, from the beginning of the day until the end with all kinds of twists and turns in the middle. There is that lovely performance by James Badge Dale as Laurent who I secretly love ever since I saw The Pacific. Then there is that over the top crazy element aka Karl (Ed Helms) who happens to be an hallucination in Stretch’s head. Helms is exactly what he is supposed to be, over the top and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! That is another reason I like this movie a lot, the fact that it takes full responsibility of its craziness and since it’s stylish and visually interesting, influences us to think twice about referring at it to be a bad movie. Or better yet, let’s just say Stretch stretches itself just as far over the line that it maintains a certain artistic vibe while a group of possible hookers vocalize sentences like you can suck my dick for a wannabe white rapper who has cocaine. That’s layering double meaning over stupid things, wrapping them up in pretty cinematography and presenting us with elegant stupidity – the appealing version of stupid, the kind that makes you warm and fuzzy.
Who knows if I’m making any sense but there’s no doubt about the fact that Stretch is all about the cinematography! With the placement of focus, with very specific framing and making good use of angles, not to mention the cleverness to use strong and bold filters to put emphasis on characters or scenes. It just looked cool and a little bit cocky, yet interesting enough to make you go back for more. And for more I watched it twice and completely agreeing with my first opinions I had formed just days before. Now, almost as revisiting the movie in my head, I’m experiencing Stretch for the third time and feeling like it keeps getting better. Or maybe I’m influenced by the pretty colors and dry humor that is refreshing after watching over 40 episodes of Masterchef Australia – also with pretty colors I might add! But that’s not the point, the point is, Stretch is a cool movie if you allow it to be, so don’t take it too seriously and enjoy the crazy ride that Stretch the limo driver takes you on.