Last month there was a weekend where E was out at a sleepover, and we just had H with us for the evening (Baby B doesn’t count, because she doesn’t do much except sleep after 7pm – most of the time). So because we had some freedom that evening, and wanted to do something fun (but still in the house) we decided to rent a movie on demand. We were scrolling through the choices on Amazon Prime, and we came across Ocean’s 8. Both the Boy and I are fans of heist movies, and hadn’t had a chance to see this one because of the baby, and had heard decent things. Common Sense Media (a great resource to see if things are age-appropriate) said it was good for age 13+, and since H is around that, we thought it would be fun. Especially since the biggest knocks against it were for consumerism, language and drinking. Because no one wants to explain sex to a preteen.
The story is this: Danny Ocean of the original trilogy is dead (hey guys – the movie came out in June 2018, and they state this in the first 5 minutes of the film, so it’s not really a spoiler), but it turns out he has a sister who has been in prison for a while (conveniently – nearly the entire time the first movies were taking place). This sister – Debbie Ocean – was also a thief, and is let out on parole for good behavior. The first moment of the movie when we watch her movements from prison to afterwards are a work of genius. They are almost balletic. Needless to say, Debbie is not really reformed, and she finds her old partner to “get the band back together” for a really big heist.
The mark is this giant diamond necklace, which they scheme to get worn on the neck of a movie star who is co-hosting the Met Gala, aka the Super Bowl for fashion-watchers. This ball raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and since the 1970s when it has been co-chaired/consulted on by editors from Vogue magazine, has become a giant star-studded event. Celebrities, models and society types strive to outdo each other with their outfits to fit the theme, and in this fictional version of the Gala, the theme is crown jewels. So why not encourage a dim-witted actress who is co-hosting to ask to wear a priceless and very expensive necklace, and then find a way to remove it from her neck over the course of the evening?
Suffice to say, a team is gathered, and it’s a lot of fun actresses. Helena Bonham-Carter as heavily-indebted fashion designer Rose Weil (a Vivienne Westwood type) who can get access to the jewels by dressing the mark. Jeweler Amita played by Mindy Kaling who has the ability to disassemble and reassemble jewelry on the fly. Hacker Rihanna who goes by the name Nine ball and who is hilarious throughout the film. Awkwafina as pickpocket Constance, who I’ve known of since her video for “My Vag” came out, and who I heard stole every scene she was in during Crazy Rich Asians. Sarah Paulson as the fence who gets things and makes it happen. And then Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, with Cate Blanchett (in an American persona so good I had to convince the Boy it was actually her) as her partner who sort of fixes and arranges everything.
Guys – this movie, it is so fun. Yes, there’s a lot of name-dropping of brands, and if you aren’t familiar with a lot of the names, it can go over your head and feel like, “So what?” I definitely did a lot of fashion-explaining to the Boy and H to explain why things were a big deal. Yes, there’s a little bit of drugs, and the occasional curse word, but nothing that your average middle-schooler hasn’t heard before, and it’s definitely in moderation. The plot is a little confusing, and the whys and wherefores of everything that happened are sort of confusing at the end – we definitely had a moment’s debrief to figure out what happened. But it’s a thoroughly satisfying thing to watch, and while there are a couple moments that could have felt like the end, the good and proper ending let you know what was what. We even got cameos over the course of the movie from the original Ocean’s crew (won’t let you know which ones, but suffice to say, they’re good!).
It sort of makes me want to watch the first and third movies with the Boy and H at some point, because those ones (and not the second movie) are just as fun and give the satisfaction of watching a good plan come together. And if in the future they decide to make another entry into this all-lady edition of the Ocean’s series, I would definitely watch it. And hopefully, it would come out a time when I can actually go out and see movies again. You know what, I’m declaring a New Year’s Resolution right now, and that’s to see a movie in the theater in 2019. We’re going to make it happen. Bonus points if we can find another fun heist movie.