#21: Before We Go (2014)

Director: Chris Evans
Romance, Adventure
1h35min; PG-13

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

As I write in the 10K Project it is becoming more interesting to watch my cinematic tastes change. Once upon a time I was a teenage pussy who couldn’t handle any blood or rather brutal violence. Now I’m just an adult- only by age- pussy who doesn’t care for supernatural horror or torture porn flicks (fuck you, Saw) but is willing to consider any zombie film or even something like It Follows. I do love a good art house pic. What’s also noticeable is that I am becoming willing to watch anything to see if it has some truth to it. I don’t necessarily need something to feel real, although I am quite elated when it does, but I do require that a film make me feel something that isn’t hatred. If it kindles hatred I still want to know why. Captain America himself, Chris Evans, directed a 2014 romantic adventure hybrid that for the most part did make me feel. It was that feeling of knowing you will always love someone a little even when you don’t even really think about them anymore.

There is a dreamy weirdness to Evans’ New York that you don’t often see.

It’s a welcoming change to see Evans cracking wise as opposed to his humorless Steve Rogers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he is not as funny here as he is in Playing It Cool, the rom-com with Michelle Monaghan, there is a twinkle in those blue eyes that makes you remember he was one of the better things in the early-2000s Fantastic Four films. Evans is all grins most of the time but he gets to dig a bit as trumpet player Nick. A man standing around playing to a nearly empty Grand Central Station, he spends the film trying to avoid someone from his past while helping co-star Alice Eve’s Brooke try to fix a mess in hers.

Eve’s accent is borderline flawless, originally from the U.K. she grew up in L.A. for a while. Although she might be most famous for playing Kirk love interest Carole Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness but she has so much more to do here and she really gives it. Nick calls Brooke “icey” at the start and he’s right, she’s a bit of a bitch but can you blame her? She’s just had her things stolen and she has to get back to Boston before her husband in order to… I won’t say. What looks to be one very predictable mystery soon evolves into something better as the pairs chemistry mixes together quite deliciously making for a fresh take on the New York rom-com. While it does stumble a little near the end with a misguided move on Nick’s part the two of them make it work. Brooke and Nick might quite possibly be soulmates or a married couple, they pick at each other as such, but the long walk the two go on is quite enjoyable, almost as enjoyable as New York City is to look at.

Eve’s and Evans’ chemistry makes for a fresh take on the New York rom-com.

When Evans decides it’s time to hang up the shield for good he has a future in directing ahead of him. There is a dreamy weirdness to his version of New York that you don’t always see in films- its very often a neon onslaught, something set in Chinatown or the gritty gutter. The quirk of Noah Baumbach is little to be seen. Both of these people are broken and its questionable if they will ever be whole again. This is more the working man’s Big Apple, about people who ride subways throughout the night because what else do they have to do? Sure a Prada purse factors for a bit of the film but these are not your Sex in the City socialites. This is more Lost in Translation or Eternal Sunshine if only in chemistry and watery-eyed conclusion. Cinematographer John Guleserian (About Time) brings a handheld urgentness to what could have been a very still piece. He and Evans make for a great team and the impromptu jazz number with Eve on the mic is proof. More, please.

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