Say what you will about Amy Pascal -- she knows a train wreck when she sees one. The former Sony Pictures Entertainment executive, who was fired last year after the Sony hack made public her email jokes about President Obama, had no illusions about the disaster that is Cameron Crowe’s new movie, “Aloha.”
The romantic dramedy, which stars Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, took a critical shellacking Thursday as one dismal review after another hit the Internet. Variety called it “Unbalanced, unwieldy, and at times nearly unintelligible,” and declared it “unquestionably Cameron Crowe’s worst film.” The Denver Post deemed it a “needlessly confusing cacophony of story, performance, and spiritual blather.” Entertainment Weekly said "the movie really is that terrible." International Business Times' Alex Garofalo described it as “a misstep that leaves the audience feeling adrift.”
But before she was booted from Sony’s ranks, Pascal beat them all to the punch. In a scorching email to her fellow executives in November, Pascal said the film "makes no sense."
"I'm never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous," she wrote. "I don't care how much I love the director and the actors."
“It never ... Not even once ... ever works,” Pascal wrote.
At the time, the film had just been completed, and Pascal was concerned about its prospects, the email revealed. “We have this movie in for a lot of dough and we better look at that,” she wrote.
“Aloha” centers on a disgraced defense contractor who returns to his native Hawaii and tries to reconcile with his now-married ex. The film has also come under fire from Asian-American groups for its lack of diversity: It has a mostly white cast despite being set in Hawaii, where only a third of the population is white.
Pascal’s evisceration of the film was made public last year along with a trove of company emails and documents hacked by an unknown entity. The U.S. government linked the hacking incident to North Korea, but North Korea denied playing any role. Pascal came under harsh criticism for a series of emails with producer Scott Rudin. In the emails, the two of them exchanged racially charged jokes in which they imagined President Obama’s movie tastes.
After the jokes went public, Pascal took the brunt of the backlash and ultimately left her executive position to become a producer. At a Women in the World conference in February, she confirmed that she'd been fired. But if Pascal wasn't always discreet, she was undeniably shrewd.