Movies that are considered “impressive” by mainstream critics isn’t something I rush to see. Or in the case of this, Catch Me if You Can (2002), the award-winning film likely released at a time when seeing a PG-13 movie was kind of a rare probability. Still, as it appeared on one of the streaming services and I have heard of the film, despite a lineup of actors I don’t care for, I finally saw the 2+ hour film.
Catch Me if You Can (2002) Film Review
In a perfect family is what helps Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) tick. His happy home life gives him security and makes him feel like all is well in the world. However, when his mother decides to divorce his father (Christopher Walken) in the aftermath of their financial difficulties, Frank, well, he runs away. Without any know-how or ability to do anything, the teenager starts to observe who gets respect and notice, and picking up his father’s talent of charming, Frank prepares a con and becomes, an airline pilot.
This gives him respect and with some finesse, he’s always to create checks, all unaware that the FBI, specifically, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) is hot on his trail. Things change when Frank meets someone who could possibly help him reclaim his perfect family dream.
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Though it’s not a film I’d say is a forever favorite, I will admit I did enjoy this film. It’s one of those con movies that lacks the sophistication of peers like The Tourist or The Thomas Crown Affair, but still has a good story. The one really good “caper” or “con” element of the story involves Frank and a group of flight attendants. It’s pretty dang funny. The rest of the story shuffles from being a kind of melancholy drama and a darker comedy.
We see the parallels to Frank’s former life and the life he wants back, and we watch as it ultimately affects him that everyone moves on. No one looks for that life anymore. It’s sad in many ways, but also an interesting portrait of the Frank Jr. character. I’m not fond of 90+ percent of the cast, but Leo does fine in the lead and we get a cameo with Jennifer Garner (in a role we normally don’t see her play) and Amy Adams co-stars for a portion of the film.
Decent if you haven’t seen it and you like caper-style films (plus it’s based on a true story), this isn’t one I’ll count as a favorite but it had Oscar nominations and did win other awards. Plus, for many, filmmaker Stephen Spielberg will always draw in a crowd.
You can find Catch Me if You Can (2002) digitally on Amazon Video; at publication, it’s with Prime.
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Content: the film has two sex scenes [one we see a cart “shaking” with the couple behind it; the girl asks why he stops before the scene cuts away, and secondly, the couple is under the sheets and he tells her it’s OK if she’s a virgin]. Co-workers make out at work [she straddles him in his chair before they’re interrupted]. A woman had an abortion. There’s some profanity like sh*t, etc and the f-word. The film is PG-13.
Photos: Dreamworks Pictures