Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
"Monte Carlo" is a harmless, innocuous tween fantasy that seems constructed out of bits and pieces of movies that we must surely have seen before, but can't quite place because there's nothing much to remember. It's chirpy, it's bright, there are pretty locations and lots happens. This is the kind of movie that can briefly hold the attention of a cat.
It stars Selena Gomez, a Disney discovery who is 18 but looks 14 and, let it be said, is cute as a button. I liked her in the movie, with her round-eyed astonishment and unaffected energy. She plays Grace, a new high school graduate who has been saving up for four years to pay for her dream, a graduation trip to Paris.
In another movie, in another universe, this would be a movie about Grace's trip to Paris. "Monte Carlo" is a movie about Grace's trip to a wheezy plot involving mistaken identities, a handsome guy who falls in love with her, and her whirlwind trip through a lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Grace has acquired a stepsister, Meg (Leighton Meester, of "Gossip Girl"), and is devastated when she finds that her mom and stepdad have arranged for Meg to join her on the trip. And Grace will bring along her BFF, Emma (Katie Cassidy, also of "Gossip Girl"). This actually may be prudent, because Meg is in her 20s and will perhaps provide some chaperoning.