More than Forest Destruction
George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) has worked hard building up his logging business, constantly facing not only the dangers of logging but also the objections of politicians and lawmen who constantly try to block him. But when he meets and marries Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) it is a match made in heaven as not only is she beautiful but she knows the logging business and soon improves George's business, proving her self equal of any man. But as they become almost unstoppable in their love and ambition something comes along to rock things.
The first thing which struck me about "Serena" is that I reckon Jennifer Lawrence must have been taken lessons from an actor in the adult movie industry as when it comes to the love making scenes in this romantic drama she is ridiculously over the top. Now I like Lawrence but it is her attempts to do the sort of bodice ripper sexy of say Mills & Boon which partly make "Serena" a weak move almost comical especially as during these scenes Bradley Cooper looks incredibly ill at ease as if part of him wants to tell his friend to stop embarrassing herself.
Now in fairness "Serena" is one of those movies which call for big sexy moments, the sort where a couple make passionate love in front of a roaring fire but it is too much here. But as such it is also a movie which you know is going to end up in an almost soap opera style drama as there is betrayal, jealousy as well as skeletons in the closet. Unfortunately in 2014 when this movie was released that sort of storyline needs careful handling with the right cast and unfortunately Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were not right for this.
Despite some very clear issues the storyline is in truth not bad and the look of "Serena" is beautiful. In truth that is the best thing about the movie as those behind the camera from the location scout to the set dresser have done a very good job of giving the movie that look.
What this all boils down to is that "Serena" didn't work for me and surprisingly most of what is wrong with the movie comes down to the casting of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as the combination doesn't work in this sort of movie.