Thin and pretty describe Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck, as well as the roles they play here. Two of Hollywood's newest stars, for whom success came in a sudden rush and who have been extremely close in real life, are now saddled with characters who have little going on inside and whose appeal is meant to come from producing sensitivity on cue. You can almost see the strings as the actors are manipulated into position for one more weepy scene. There are, however, a number of moments where both actors are credible enough before plot contrivances push them into yet another corner.
And then there is the foreplay. Lots of it. Of the script kind. Essentially this involves Buddy (Affleck) circling around Abby (Paltrow) for what seems like an eternity before making his move and then revealing who he is. Who he is has become his one guilty secret as he makes the journey from slick, egotistical ad-man to a caring-sharing soul of the most selfless kind.
The journey he should have made was the one home for Christmas: snowed in at the airport, he learns that there is only one flight leaving and, having befriended nice-guy Greg at the bar, he hands over his ticket so Greg can spend Christmas with his wife - Abby - and kids. The plane crashes, Abby mourns, Buddy homes in on her, becomes attached, but keeps his secret to himself. Of course, because Abby is decent anyway and Buddy becomes exactly the same, only someone who sleeps through the film will be unable to work out the ending at an early stage. Indeed, "Bounce" isn't a bad way to make up for all those restless nights.