In Your Eyes April 20, 2014; 105 minutes. American. Fantasy-Rom-Com; Writer, Joss Whedon; Director, Brin Hill; Zoe Kazan as Rebecca; Michael Stahl-David as Dylan.
Okay...this movie started off reaaaalllly slow. There was a heck of a lot of meaningful talking. And there was this whiff of pretentious high concept indie preciousness that I had to get past. But dangnabbit, after a while I got into it. Because it’s a love story and I’m a sucker for romances. Add the speculative fiction element and I’m good to go.
The story begins with Rebecca and Dylan as kids. For reasons they don’t know, they get seizures, or they fall down, or they black out. What they don’t know until about twenty minutes into the film (when they’re adults) is that they see --and are affected by-- events in each other’s lives. Now adults -- our heroine married to an unsympathetic husband and our hero an ex-con-- the connection gets stronger. They begin hearing each other’s voices and they realize they’re able to see, feel, hear, smell, and taste what the other is sensing. Of course, he builds her confidence and she is the purity and innocence he needs. Five seconds after seeing the adult version of these kids I knew this heroine needed rescuing. (Yeah, i know...but go along with it; it’s a romance, after all. Besides, her innocence and neediness rescues his soul as well.)
Of course there are a few struggles to overcome. The aforementioned unempathetic, arrogant, workaholic, husband cares about Rebecca’s mental health. (Again, the possibility of meds rears its head.) And Dylan’s an ex-con. Are ex-cons ever free from temptation? And then there is the fact that if one has perfect telepathic empathetic communication with someone else, your significant others are not going to measure up well. Eventually these two fall in love and --if I may say so-- it appears that sex with a telepathic partner who sees, feels, hears, smells everything you do seems like the best sex of all.
This film is definitely a working out of a “what if” speculative concept. For better and for worse. There are some great moments of organic storytelling. But it seriously doesn’t get as deeply into its subject as it could have. Seriously, couldn’t the screenwriters have come up with an exploration of “self versus the other” or something? Apparently not, because this high concept film ends up putting its characters in obvious situations. It’s cute, but it is a date movie pretty much.