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This is perhaps, without much doubt, one of the weirdest romance films you may see that doesn’t have a strong use of violence.
Review (with Spoilers)
Between Zoe Kazan and Joss Whedon, these were two names upon the discovery of this film which made me think to bypass watching a trailer for neither could do me wrong. I didn’t even consider the fact this was going straight to online media because I figured Whedon was just testing new ground for future releases. And, after watching the film, I think maybe I should have read up on this film before watching.
Characters & Story
Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) has lived quite the privilege life in New Hampshire. Her parents put her through school, she found a husband in Phil (Mark Feurstein) willing to make her his housewife, and with his political ambitions, she could have become the wife of a congressman, senator, governor, or maybe even the president someday. But, a connection to a young man named Dylan (Michael Stahl-David), who she has never even met, seems to be holding her back. Said connection is mental, in which their senses are connected and with the tumultuous lives they both have, the connection has been more a hindrance than anything else.
Yet, somehow they don’t discover each other’s presence until both are in their late 20s or early 30s. Up until then, seemingly Rebecca just wrote off any incidents as seizures or muscle spasms, and we aren’t fully sure what Dylan called any of the episodes he felt due to this connection. What is known, though, is sharing senses with one another maybe weird, yet creates this feeling of not being alone and has slightly helped them through rough patches like when Dylan was in jail, or Rebecca in an institution. And while, post-discover, they try to just be long distance friends, things happen which bring them closer and closer, until one day they are finally face to face.
When it comes to praising this movie, the first thing I must note is that it tries to spin a unique tell on how to people fall in love, which I quite liked. It sort of spins the idea of being soul mates, and one person, and runs with it in such a way which makes the more superficial reasons people fall in love almost absent. And at times the film feels almost like an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel as the two talk, fall slowly in love, and have to deal with the complicated lives they have which keep them from being together.
And, though I say this with hesitation, I must admit the combination of Kazan and Stahl-David was good. For while they are never in the same room together, there is this chemistry and ability to make you like them as friends and even potential lovers. Which helps for the directions the film goes is quite perplexing.
For me, there are a few issues I have with the film. First, and foremost, I found it so weird how open they were with talking to each other while looking like they are talking to themselves. For while Rebecca at least, sometimes, pretends to be on the phone, Dylan doesn’t try to hide it at all. Then, my next issue came from how their friendship evolved into something more. If just because, at first, it seemed Rebecca was going to help Dylan better his life and get this girl Donna (Nikki Reed) and in return, Dylan would offer the support and friendship that Rebecca didn’t really seem to have in her husband, nor the people her husband associated with.
However, rather than keep this nice path which could have made for a cute movie, they decide to complicate things by them falling in love, and Rebecca having a possible mental illness, not associated with the connection. As well as her relationship with Phil devolve to the point that you question what made her husband even fall in love with her? For while Rebecca is a nice girl, and seemingly helps take care of him, what else does she offer besides something to show off at fundraising dinners and other social occasions? And while it is cute how Dylan accepts her as she is, it doesn’t excuse this lack of helping us understand why Phil married this girl, and why they stay together since it seems she has had moments throughout their whole relationship.
Overall: TV Viewing
I wouldn’t say there is any need to rush to see this, in fact I’d say wait until it becomes available as part of Netflix or on a cable station, for while the friendship section between Rebecca and Dylan is cool, once the relationship part happens, and Rebecca starts losing her mind, the film goes downhill fast. Making it another film which likely looks good on paper, but somewhere down the line something went awry and likely it was too late to change anything. Leaving me to really think this maybe a film to skip but, because it is adequate enough, I’ll bump it up to a TV Viewing. If just because it had potential in the beginning.