Jeannette Godoy’s DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH can be summed up in one word. Fun. Of course, that’s not the only word we’re going to use, as that would make for an overly short and boring movie review. Samantha Boscarino is a fast-talking, smart, and witty protagonist that feels relatable in her search for a job, and also prove herself to her uncle. This by-the-book comedy doesn’t break a lot of rules, but it does smash the patriarchy.
The dialogue feels akin to a Gilmore Girls episode, and that’s not a bad thing. The words flow naturally, and the characters speak realistically. The movie runs about an hour and a half and only drags in a couple of areas, otherwise no real complaints to that end.
The movie looks and sounds great. One small complaint is that the editing in some areas tends to move a little quickly from shot to shot. A little lingering, even for an extra second would add a little more impact to small moments like when Ariana parks her mini cooper between two large luxury SUVs. The joke of the tiny car would have landed better if the camera lingered an extra beat or two. The editor, Kristine McPherson did an otherwise excellent job, and considering her impressive resume as both an editor (and time as an Asst. Editor) for both TV and movies, I’m surprised that I’m catching moments like that. They almost seem accidental. The majority of the movie is cut well and all the other cinematography elements (camera, lighting, etc.) are fine as well.
The movie does seem to borrow from various genres. The ‘mean girls’-type character Skyler is straight out of the movie by the same name, and of course other contemporaries of that movie like Easy A and even hints of Clueless.
The characters and their interactions make this movie. Ariana’s fish-out-of-water experience at the country club sets her up for all sorts of fun hijinks as she learns to navigate the world of the wealthy and snobby.
The few times Ariana breaks the fourth wall seems to be a little out of place with the rest of the movie. The character already has a habit of talking to herself, so it doesn’t seem to fit that she’d also be speaking to the audience. It’s just an added narrative frame that clashes with the other.
Criticisms aside, as I said at the top of this review, the movie is fun, and that’s what counts. The acting is solid, realistic, and well-paced. Everything else falls into place nicely if you go in with an open mind and a sense of humor.
Summary: New college grad Ariana Alvarez (Samantha Boscarino) is given a chance to turn her life around when she joins a stuffy country club.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English
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