All of the pieces were in place for "Serena" to be a great film. It had Oscar-nominated actors, stunning scenery, deep characters, and a beautiful score. Unfortunately, the film suffered from one fundamental mistake: It did not spend enough developing the relationship of the main characters. As a result, it was difficult to care about these characters or their marriage throughout the story. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have plenty of chemistry but, without taking the time to show them fall in love, the chemistry isn't convincing. There certainly was no shortage of make-out scenes, sex scenes, and awkward bathing scenes, but these lose their meaning without the context of a loving relationship. I would have gladly had the writers eliminate a few of these scenes to make more time for the love story. Another issue is that this film moved so slow. I think back on the story and a lot of interesting things happened, but the actual viewing experience put me to sleep. There were some big surprises and the good scenes were amazing. Sadly, they were just too few and far between to give this film a cohesive flow. You may see Cooper and Lawrence’s names and expect a masterpiece like “Silver Linings Playbook,” but don’t fall into the same trap as me. Just pass on “Serena” and watch “Playbook” again. And again. And again.
[Pictured: Magnificent actor + Magnificent actor ≠ Worthwhile film]