“Aloha” is about the relationships a person leaves behind and the relationships that could be. And in this film it’s also about surprises. The movie features a strong cast in Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, and Bill Murray.
Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a military contractor with a covert job to do in Hawaii, where he reconnects with his former love Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams). Tracy is now married but going through a rough spot because her husband is the strong and silent type who won’t open up to her. Captain Allison Ng (Emma Stone) of the Air Force is ordered to keep an eye on Gilcrest, but she and Gilcrest fall for each other. When she learns one of his military secrets involving Carson Welch (Bill Murray), she becomes angry enough with him to jeopardize the relationship.
Some of the film’s themes—moving forward to find happiness again and sacrificing one’s own happiness to do the right thing—are worthwhile. The comedic moments fall flat as often as they succeed, but the strength of the movie is the characters’ self-discovery and their realizations about what is important to them. That said, the movie contains strong language and a three rating in the sex category, so we are unable to award “Aloha” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.