Paradise - Movie Review

Category: Movies
Paradise - Movie Review

Julianne Hough stars in Paradise, an unconventional story of a young woman who has been sheltered her entire life and decides to venture out into the world to experience life outside of her small, religious Montana town. Her destination is Las Vegas, or as it is sometimes called, Sin City.

21-year old Lamb Mannerheim (Hough) has survived a near fatal accident when the plane piloted by her boyfriend crashed due to mechanical failure. Lamb was burned and now her body is scarred and the skin grafts are tender and sore. Her life has changed. No longer the outgoing, singing, spiritual young woman she used to be, Lamb questions the existence of God. After a somewhat traumatic and openly sacrilegious testimony in her church, Lamb sets out for Las Vegas to experience decadence and learn about life.

Lamb is a fish out of water in Sin City. Nevertheless, she intends to find out about life outside of her sheltered hometown. She has a list of things she wants to experience and the money to help her, thanks to the insurance settlement she received after the accident.

The first person she meets is William (Russell Brand), a bartender who sees that she is a babe in the woods. This man feels compassion for the sweet, innocent little Lamb. Lamb also meets Loray (Octavia Spencer), another lost soul but not an innocent one. Together, William and Loray decide to keep tabs on Lamb as she navigates the night in the sinful bars and clubs and experiences her first alcoholic binge, among other adventures. 

This is a cute little film about learning about life and experiencing new people and things. Hough is perfect for this role. Her sweet, innocent appearance is the essence of Lamb Mannerheim. The road to discovering life takes on a different tone when it is being traveled by a woman who was brought up to be God-fearing and has been sheltered her entire life. What Lamb discovered is how to live and how to stand on her own two feet, even though they are painful due to the accident. Is there more to life than her simple, Christian, Montana town espouses?

Holly Hunter and Nick Offerman play Lamb’s conservative parents. And Kathleen Rose Perkins plays Amber, the call girl (yes, call girl) who is changed by her encounter with Lamb.

Paradise is an entertaining journey of lost souls, lost faith, and finding how to live life and experience adventures. It was written and directed by Diablo Cody, who brought us the quirky 2007 movie Juno. Julianne Hough first caught the attention of audiences when she was on the popular dance competition show Dancing with the Stars. Hough is an accomplished dancer, singer, and actor. She starred in the 2013 film Safe Haven, the 2012 film Rock of Ages, and the 2011 film Footloose.

Paradise will hit theaters October 18, 2013. While it is a fun and heartwarming story, Julianne Hough is the reason it is enjoyable. Playing this disabled young woman, Julianne puts a lot of emotion into her character. It is not a movie that will appeal to general audiences. It is quirky, however it has plenty of spirit.

Paradise is rated PG-13 for sexual material, substance abuse, some language, and thematic elements.




About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

Follow her on Twitter

Like her on Facebook