"Nim’s Island", an Imperfect Tropical Paradise
Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: April 28, 2008 | Publication: The Berthoud Recorder | Author: Shari Phiel
If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping to a remote, tropical island, “Nim’s Island” just might be the perfect spot. It has warm, sunny beaches, almost no tourists and only the occasional hurricane. Just like the movie.
Abigail Breslin, the child star of “Little Miss Sunshine,” stars as Nim Rusoe, the smart, spunky and quick thinking daughter of microbiologist Jack (Gerard Butler). Nim and Jack live on an undiscovered island in the South Pacific, where Nim spends her time helping her dad collect specimens, communicating via email over high-speed Internet (provided by solar powered electric) and reading the latest novel by her favorite author/explorer Alex Rover.
When’s Nim’s father disappears gathering specimens on a two-day trip at sea, she naturally reaches out to her hero. Little does she know Rover is really Alexandra Rover (Foster), a neurotic, agoraphobic writer who hasn’t left her San Francisco house in six weeks. Foster steps away from her usual dramatic roles here and gives a wonderful, if at times over-the-top, comedic performance.
Alexandra makes her way around the world with the help of her imaginary character Alex (also played by Butler). He pushes her at every turn, every obstacle, to step beyond her boundaries and out of her neuroses. The pairing of the two provides some truly funny moments in the film.
While waiting for help, Nim must fend off a bevy of obnoxious and welcome visitors. The ever-inventive Nim uses everything from flying lizards to a gaseous sea lion and a rumbling volcano to save her idyllic paradise from the environmental unfriendly cruise ship day trippers.
Help finally arrives in the guise of Alexandra, much to the dismay of Nim. At this point in the film, the emotional development between the characters moves along with the speed of hurricane force winds. Resolution is quickly, and somewhat predictably, reached in a kid-friendly, happily-ever-after way.
While the film does have plot holes big enough to walk through, I think of it as a tropical island paradise. Sometimes it is relaxing and enjoyable, and at other times, it is being buffeted by rough seas. But it is still a great place to be.
Overall, Walden Media’s spin on the Robinson Crusoe adventure classic offers a summer getaway that is great for kids and for the kid in all of us. It’s definitely worth the price of admission.
Rating: 7 out of 10