It Had To Be You reminds you of Cristin Milioti’s charm and makes you hope she’ll eventually have a starring role in a television series.
Review (with Spoilers)
Sonia (Cristin Milioti) | Chris (Dan Sofer) | Lara (Rachel York)
Marriage just seems like the natural step in any relationship right? You have been together a couple years or months, get along, the sex is good enough to stay with this person, and they make you happy. It sounds dull when you tick them off like a questionnaire but that is the gist, right? But what about other things? Sonia, for example, wants to be like how Lara appears. You know, like that woman of 90s and 80s movies who has everything so put together, probably had a multitude of lovers, and pretty much is a feminist icon. Like, the type whose funeral has millions weeping because of what she meant to them.
Well, maybe that is an exaggeration. Truth is, Sonia just wants something better. Which makes her relationship with Chris difficult at times since he is ok with being ok. So with him proposing comes the thought of whether she could be with a guy like this. Does he meeting multiple boxes on the general, “Things you’d want in a husband” list matter if he as a person isn’t as ambitious as you’d like? Well, that is what she has to figure out.
I wonder if actors and the people who finance movies are as bored with middle-class white people as I am. For, I don’t know, there just seems to be just too many movies and TV programs on the market which seems to feature the same characters with the same problems. The only difference being if someone isn’t some Eurocentric version of attractive or if they are supposed to be seen as some manic pixie girl version of awkward.
Which is the issue with this movie – No one stands out to the point you want to take note of who this actor is or make a vested interest in their character. Everyone seems to have an archetype and doesn’t stray too far from it. Be it the sort of hippie chick who fears she is selling out because she has responsibilities now, the posh friend who honestly was such a non-factor in the movie I can’t even remember if she does anything, and there lies another problem. No one really gets any real reaction out of you. Everyone is so geared toward being without serious complications or depth that it is like watching a sitcom. One in which, yeah, so and so may have said something messed up, but nothing so messed up a few jokes and sweet moments can’t have them back to potentially likable by the end of the episode.
On The Fence
Feels Like a Pilot
Despite the criticism, I must admit this seemed like a TV pilot with the way it laid the foundation for all the characters. For with this movie being about a group of friends dealing with transitioning into their 30s with marriage, houses, and future kids, it felt like we were getting an appetizer vs a whole meal. Assuming that makes sense.
Another way to put it is that a lot of the movie feels segmented like a TV show. Take for example Sonia heading to Rome. What ends up happening is she has what seems like the perfect plot for an episode. One in which she is in awe of Rome’s food and architecture, contacts someone familiar and has a comedic and tragic trip altogether. Nothing to call the cops about, perhaps, but definitely a funny story to tell when she gets back home.
Which, to me, is why I can imagine this movie’s characters and story working on the silver screen. However, as a movie, it is like some issues only get resolved because the movie needed to end. Then when it came to Sonia’s friends, they exist solely because Sonia needs to have friends. I mean, they seem like such an obligation in the movie that it makes you wonder how difficult it must have been for writer/ director Sasha Gordon to write this. For it almost seems like she was forced to put them in to add length to the movie and/or to get actors for additional financing.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
The main issue with this film is it lacks originality. Be it borrowing from other productions or just seeming too heavily inspired, it has no voice of its own. And while all the actors present likable characters, in this effort for everyone to be likable comes everyone being dull and lifeless. So even when someone is yelling, having a panic attack, or what have you, it all seems forced, scripted and, like this movie in general, what you would expect vs. something which feels genuine and authentic. Which is a shame since there is a part of you, mostly thanks to Milioti, which would like to maybe get to know everyone more. It is just, no one gives you a solid reason for those fleeting feelings.