Release year: 2013
Director: Diablo Cody
Screenwriter: Diablo Cody
Starring: Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter, Nick Offerman, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Phil Austin, Maz Jobrani
After a plane crash leaves her scarred, Lamb Mannerheim (Hough) finds herself doubting the faith she has grown up having. Determined to sin she packs her bags and goes to the most sinful place she can think of: Las Vegas.
Diablo Cody (Juno, 2007) is mostly known for her tongue-cheek dialogue with humour, warmth and a certain sharpness. Paradise is her directorial debut and delivers the same beloved punchlines, helped by a terrific cast. Young, blonde Hough (Rock of Ages, 2012) is fairly unknown but her proves that she has a much greater talent than the great voiced actress has earlier had a chance to show. Her Lamb is convincingly innocent and her shocked reaction to the Vegas night life look genuine and charming. Brand (Get Him to the Greek, 2010) and Spencer (Hidden Figures, 2016) a two very different versions of sins, Brand charmingly luring and Spencer bitterness and a sharp tongue. It is when Lamb run into their characters the movie truly takes of, if that expression can even be used about a movie taking its own sweet time as this does. And why hurry, when you manage to entertain so brilliantly with well-written dialogue as well as characters. Not laugh-out-loud funny, Paradise, and everything else written by Cody, more has you chuckling the way dramadies can and is undeniable charming and a far too unknown gem.
Julianne Hough and Russell Brand also starred together in the musical Rock of Ages (2012).