Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Not for everyone but an unusual take on romance
on 30 October 2014
This film is a bit different, being written and directed by Drake Doremus (who later made "Breathe in") and like that film this features Felicity Jones in the lead role and his usual informal style of directing is present here too with quite a bit of improvisation from the cast members and he also limited the film crew in some scenes to make the main actors more comfortable in the more intimate scenes.
Story wise Felicity Jones plays Anna Gardner a British national who falls for an American guy called Jacob Helm (played by Anton Yelchin) whilst studying in Los Angeles, she decides to stay after she graduates thus breaking the terms of her visa. She goes back to Britain, but once she tries to fly out to Jacob again she is denied entry as she violated the terms of her visa. Thus the couple are forced to try to maintain a long distance relationship. Jacob does come to visit her for a few weeks where the sparks fly during his visit, but he has to return to the USA.
Over time the visa problem is re-visited which puts a strain on the relationship, but the couple decide to marry in a small ceremony during Jacob's next visit. Again Anna is denied entry to the USA, and after some relationship issues both of them start to see other people even though they are married.
The story is quite simple, it's really a battle of emotions and watching the couples start new relationships but with a constant pondering about the romance they feel deep inside. Performances are good from both lead actors we also get some well known supporting cast members including Jennifer Lawrence and Alex Kingston. But make no mistake it's really centred on the couple throughout the production.
This falls firmly into the slow burn category (just like Breathe In) if you hated that film then the chances are you won't like this, but if it hit the spot this is very much in a similar category. Plot wise I think stretches a bit at times one being why Jacob just didn't stay in the UK after they were married. Leaving that to one side both actors are very believable in their performances and genuine Felicity Jones having the unique "look" where she doesn't even need to say anything to convey a feeling works in films like this. Ending wise I wasn't entirely convinced (seems to leave the door open but some might like that) ultimately it boils down to if they did the right thing, and with the closing scenes you can't help but wonder if the spark and magic has gone, but I imagine the director wanted that.
If the thoughts of a slow pondering romance with lots of intensity but played in an off the cuff/improvised non typecast way appeal, this will be right up your street. But if not you'll probably find it tediously boring. I think the film is quite clever and raises some interesting questions about relationships, and thus is worth a look.