In Your Eyes review: the light, the heat…

In Your Eyes green light

Joss Whedon wrote and produced a sweet little supernatural romance for your geeky pleasure, and you don’t even have to pirate it: he released it instantly on Vimeo.
I’m “biast” (pro): love Joss Whedon

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Joss Whedon has a new movie. You cannot see it in theaters… but you can rent it right now, online, at Vimeo, from anywhere on the planet, for the ridiculously low price of five American bucks. Is it worth five bucks? It sure is. It would be worth twice that to see it on a big screen, but this is one of those little indie-style dramedies that hardly ever end up on big screens anymore. It has no superheroes, and it has no space cowboys.

What it does have are two gently, identifiably screwed-up 30-ish folks in Rebecca (Zoe Kazan: The Pretty One, Ruby Sparks), who lives in New Hampshire, and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David: The Congress, Cloverfield), who lives in New Mexico, who discover that they have a sort of psychic connection. (Actually, they’ve had it since they were kids, and they’re discovering now that it’s a real thing, not a figment of their imaginations.) There is nothing else between them: they are not twins separated at birth, or anything silly like that. That is not necessary for this story of the sweet supernatural friendship — and later hints of attraction — that blossom between the two.

For them, it’s kind of like having an Internet pal without the Internet, and if this is basically an hour and a half of watching two people have really witty and engaging phone conversations without the phone — cuz that’s how it works: they can see through each other’s eyes but they can’t share thoughts, so they have to speak out loud — then you can at least trust that they are going to be saying interesting things to each other. Because Whedon (Much Ado About Nothing, The Avengers). (Whedon wrote the script and produced; the film is directed by Brin Hill. This is his second feature; the first was something about basketball, and appears to bear no resemblance to this flick.) Kazan and Stahl-David don’t even appear onscreen together as they get to know each other, and yet they have extraordinary chemistry… and so this becomes a sort of valentine to the wonderfully romantic notion of falling in love as a meeting of minds, not of bodies.

It gets a little overblown at the end, which is rushed and frantic and makes me wonder if Whedon didn’t have bigger ambitions for this concept beyond a single film, more ramifications of it to explore over, perhaps, a season or two of television. But no matter. The little time we have with Rebecca and Dylan is highly satisfactory anyway.

In Your Eyes is available to rent on Vimeo.

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Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:40pm

Yes, what is most important is the relationship on the screen and how Kazan and Stahl-David essay it. In a world of bitching, thanks for your positivity Maryann.

Sat, May 03, 2014 1:23am