Beyond Fright Review: IN YOUR EYES

iye cover emailThere’s just something special about the way Joss Whedon writes. Whether it by Firefly/SERENITY, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or hell, THE AVENGERS, the guy has a knack for wit and well developed characters. While I typically refrain from jumping into romantic comedies/dramas, when the Whedon-written IN YOUR EYES appeared in my mailbox, it was just too good NOT to tell you fright fanatics about.

When, as a child, Dylan has a vision of a girl sledding through the snow and crashing into a tree, he feels the girl’s pain and gets knocked out of his chair. Now a grown-up and recently paroled ex-convict, Dylan (CLOVERFIELD’s Michael Stahl-David)  lives alone in a trailer in the middle of nowhere and frequents a bar in which his former friends (and the reasons for his imprisonment) continually try to talk Dylan into one last score. Once a promising student, Dylan lives poorly and spends most of his time alone, trying to keep his nose clean and out of trouble.

At the same time, far away in New Hampshire, Rebecca is a housewife who thinks she has it all, a wealthy husband, and a stability that we as viewers don’t see in Dylan. Forced to attend business parties by her husband, Rebecca feels out of place, and when out of nowhere, she and Dylan begin to see through each other’s eyes and hear each other, things throw both of their lives out of whack.

While the premise could very easily be yet another Nicholas Sparks-like romance film, it’s Whedon knack for writing relatable characters and making the supernatural seem natural that makes IN YOUR EYES work so well, setting it far apart from your typical boy and girl romance film. Rebecca is curious about Dylan’s life, one in which he has little confidence in, and Dylan falls hard for Rebecca, even if she is not only currently married, but also across the country as well. Soon, through the supernatural link they share, Dylan and Rebecca begin becoming great friends and eventually begin to harbor romantic feelings for each, but it’s life’s deck of cards dealt to both of them that makes it next to impossible to ever be together. Rebecca sees a potential in Dylan, and it’s her faith in him that make Dylan try to be a better person, while Dylan tries to make Rebecca be her own person, not the equivalent of a piece of merchandise owned by her husband.

As Rebecca begins to exhibit various odd behaviors, her husband and her “friends” begin to think she might need to be committed, forcing Dylan to examine how he really feels about himself and about Rebecca and how far he would go to protect her, even with the fact of never meeting her once in life. Their supernatural link forms such a kinship and respect for each other, that when Dylan does some pretty big things to save Rebecca, we as viewers understand why he would. Dylan knows that he’s found his soul-mate, and Rebecca realizes that the perfect life she thought she had is nothing more her husband thinking he owns her.

A witty, and very well-written film, IN YOUR EYES is just another example of Whedon’s ability as a writer, and the performances by Stahl-David, Zoe Kazan (RUBY SPARKS), the direction of Brin Hill, and some excellent scenery all make for one intelligent film that bypasses all of the cliche’s set forth by various other films falling into the relationship drama category.

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