A love story about getting the girl, losing her and repeating the process a few times.
Review (with Spoilers)
Between Jessica Szohr, who disappeared from my radar since Gossip Girl went off, and Rose McIver who is on both Once Upon a Time and Masters of Sex that, for me, was the main draw of this movie. I mean, yes, there is a very cute poster, and a nice little trailer, but with the lead simply being “The Boy” and a plot which seemingly isn’t sure what it really wants to do with its unnamed protagonist, it is hard to really understand why they called such a dim story the Brightest Star.
Characters & Story
To begin, we follow around “The Boy” (Chris Lowell) who is in a deep, almost obsession-like, fascination with a young woman named Charlotte (Rose McIver) who, like 90% of the characters in the film, come from a well off family. However, unlike most infatuations, somehow he gets the girl of his dreams. Thing is, though, while Charlotte has both ambition and beauty, “The Boy” is rather aimless and seemingly coasting through life to the point that, eventually, Charlotte decides it is time to move on because as she gets older, being stuck with the guy who seems to have no passions is just not the life she wants to live.
Enter Lita (Jessica Szohr) who is now renting the place Charlotte left “The Boy” in and, after breaking up with her boyfriend and quickly swapping him with “The Boy,” Lita now takes this man-child in her arms. And while their relationship is cute, she can’t get past the suspicion that she is just a rebound, and as her father gives him all Charlotte may have desired in a man, “The Boy’s” mind wanders and we are left wondering will he ever decide what he wants to be, who he wants to be with, and what he will do in his future? Or will he simply drift to what comes easy and rely on the pity of others to keep him coasting through life?
What I liked most about the film is that “The Boy” and Charlotte have a complicated romance. Yes, it begins rather quickly, but from there a progression begins in which, as they leave the honeymoon stage, they enter into an adult relationship which requires more than fun times in the present, but an actual future. Which, unfortunately for Charlotte, seems to be this man trying to spend all his time with her. And though it sounds like that part more so belongs in the section above, I note that part here because the story addresses the weirdness of romance films in which often one side is so infatuated with the other that it seems they don’t do much else with their life besides focus on them. And rather than Charlotte be the kind we are used to which makes excuses and is long suffering, she seems real. She leaves and creates a story for “The Boy” which maybe about him finding himself to a point, but also it shows the sort of sickness that heartbreak can cause as he becomes mentally geared to do whatever it takes to get her back, and in this we see a clear issue of how men act in romance films in which they show up, expect to be forgiven, and then think things will go back to how they used to be, which Charlotte, albeit at first, reminds him isn’t how the world works. She notes his ways are creepy, and you can see how uncomfortable she is, and in that, you get a rare glimpse of reality which often is missing in films like these because they want to focus so much on the whole lovey-dovey aspect to the point they gloss over how problematic the male lead is acting.
However, even with the praise, which perhaps is a bit overdone, this film does somehow make an hour and 20 minutes seem a bit long. Perhaps part of the issue it seems long is because the lead is never given a name, backstory, and the one friend we see him having, she disappears once Charlotte becomes his girlfriend. Thus making “The Boy” pretty much a mirror who only reflects whoever he is currently with, or dated last. And, mind you, though he does progress and evolve, somewhat, throughout the story, I just felt that with his being defined so much by him being validated by a love interest, I just couldn’t get into the movie.
Overall: TV Watching
Though the film certainly has its problems, it isn’t horrible. McIver makes a likable love interest, as does Szohr, but Lowell is just too dull, and his character underdeveloped, to say this needs to be at the top of your Netflix, or be something you need to see now. At best, it is good to kill some time with on a Sunday when there is nothing to do. But, don’t expect a whirlwind romance; a satisfying development from a lost college student to someone with a purpose; and though I praise Charlotte noting how creepy “The Boy” is, mind you that this isn’t like Don Jon where there is a real, in-depth, sort of thought developed into how and why men think their approach to woman is appropriate.