The second production to come from Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures (following last year’s “Much Ado About Nothing”), “In Your Eyes” is a modest, sweet, gently paced romance which may ultimately be more interesting as an experiment in motion picture production and distribution than for its storyline or performances.
Not that both the story and performances aren’t good, and its credit to director Brin Hill and leads Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David that they are able to generate such palpable chemistry given they spend so little screen time physically together.
On opposite sides of the country and worlds apart, two people find they share an intimate and inexplicable connection. Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) is fading away as the taken-for-granted wife of a driven and successful older Doctor while ex-convict Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) is trying to make a fresh start despite the lack of faith shown by his parole worker. Once they become aware of each other through a mysterious metaphysical connection, friendship blossoms into romance as they find solace in each other.
It takes the film a little while to find its feet but once Rebecca and Dylan are consciously aware of each other, the romance takes over and carries the film through. For a Joss Whedon script, it’s not as polished and clever as you might expect and there’s little of his trademark sharply witty repartee. It does, however, sustain its central conceit well and concentrates on making the viewer part of the burgeoning, secret relationship between Rebecca and Dylan. This focus does render most of the supporting characters somewhat two dimensional and you’ll struggle to feel sympathy for Rebecca’s cold and aloof husband or her gossipy ‘friends’ while Dylan’s surroundings are sketched in even broader strokes.
The cause of the connection is never explained but you don’t feel cheated by the absence of a cause although the overall impression is that this is a story and script that, while it works fine, would have benefitted from being refined and polished for a bit longer. Director Brin Hill does a superb job at juggling the two competing settings and making sure the story remains easily followed and the easy pace doesn’t slacken into something more soporific but it lacks that certain bite we’ve come to expect from the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” scribe.
It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th 2014 and then was simultaneously released to an on demand service for a $5 (approximately £3) rental fee. You can watch the trailer and rent the movie through Vimeo by clicking HERE (this is just a link, What The Craggus Saw… gets no kickback or referral fee) and it’s worth checking out not only because it’s a pretty solid, pleasantly undemanding romantic fantasy film but also because the distribution model, if successful, could help secure a whole new channel for up and coming filmmakers to get their movies out directly to their audience.