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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Breathe In review: every man’s fantasy — blech

Breathe In red light Felicity Jones Guy Pearce

MaryAnn’s quick take…
Dear Penthouse Forum: I am an ordinary high school teacher, happily married. I never thought anything like this would happen when we hosted a beautiful, brilliant British foreign exchange student…
I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Dear Penthouse Forum:

I am an ordinary high school teacher in Upstate New York, happily married with a teenaged daughter. I never thought anything like this would happen to me when we decided to host a British foreign exchange student for the academic year. But I was totally floored by her from the moment we picked her up at the airport! She — I’ll call her Sophie, though that’s not her real name; her real name is Felicity Jones — is brilliant and beautiful, in a very sophisticated way.

I all but gave up my career as a musician to become a music teacher, and I don’t think my wife — I’ll call her Megan, though her real name is Amy Ryan — fully appreciates how much of a sacrifice this was to me. A man needs his creative outlets! And Sophie is an absolute genius on the piano — she plays with such passion, like I haven’t heard in years. I couldn’t help but be drawn to her talent and her spirit. I think this is why Sophie dropped out of the music class I teach at the local school she was attending during her exchange, because she felt the attraction between us and had a premonition of how dangerous it would be.

But of course we were together at home all the time! I didn’t mean to get emotionally involved with her, but a man has needs, and like I said, my wife doesn’t seem to understand me anymore. But Sophie! As a fellow musician, she was very sympathetic to my creative urges, and very wise about them: I think it was when she said “It’s hard to do what you want to do” that I started to really fall in love with her, because I knew she was an old soul like me. She certainly seems much older than she is!

I hasten to add that she *is* 18, so she’s not a child. And it’s not like I’m not a good-looking guy — people say I look like the actor Guy Pearce — so it’s not like I have any trouble attracting female attention. I hate to sound as if I’m trying to justify being unfaithful to my wife or hurting my daughter, who had befriended Sophie, but…

[continued on page 174]

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Breathe In (2013) | directed by Drake Doremus
US/Can release: Mar 28 2014
UK/Ire release: July 19 2013

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated MMLCF for wearying depictions of a male midlife crisis fantasy
MPAA: rated R for some language
BBFC: rated 15 (contains strong language)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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