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January 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Labor Day, comments Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal, “might better be called Labored Day,” a movie that “moves at a sluggish pace, while the emotion ratio for each character is one per scene.” It is not, most of the critics observe, the sort of film one might expect from director Jason Reitman, who gave us Oscar-nominated Up in the Air and Juno. Peter Howell, in the Toronto Star calls the film, “a glossy melodrama by Jason Reitman, who normally treats weepers the way Justin Bieber does career counseling. Reitman typically goes in for the smart and sassy, not the naïve and sappy.” Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News is also disappointed by this turn from Reitman. “It’s just too bad Reitman himself takes the project so seriously,” she remarks. “He’s too good to make a campy guilty pleasure, so he winds up with lightweight escapism instead.” Steven Holden in the New York Times calls it “an embarrassing comedown for Mr. Reitman.” And Ty Burr in the Boston Globe comments that Reitman just “doesn’t have the knack for straight melodrama. It’s as though he tried to reverse-engineer a Nicholas Sparks movie and put the pieces back together all wrong.”