You know when you’ve found it.
You can mindlessly filter through all of the available options for hours before finding the one… the Netflix choice of the evening.
Late last night, during my ritual browse of new additions, I (in no way influenced by Chris Evans’ visage) made my decision upon discovering his directorial debut, Before We Go (2014).
The premise of the film is that young wife Brooke Dalton (Alice Eve) is robbed before boarding a train to Boston. Lost and stuck in New York City without any money and a (conveniently) broken phone, she meets a free-spirited musician, Nick Vaughan (Evans), who stays with her on the adventure of a lifetime… or at least that’s how Netflix describes it.
To some, it may come across as a contrived narrative with little to offer; but to me, ever the optimist, it seems to explore one of those encounters that we rarely experience throughout our everyday lives: the kindness of a stranger.
Although exhibited through the medium of film, the fictional optimism of Ronald Bass and Jen Smolka’s* screenplay adheres to the conventions of the romance fim but dabbles in a bit of realism: the human tendency to run away from problems of the heart.
The simple plot plays to the strengths of an indie film immediately – instead of leaving the audience preoccupied with the limited narrative, we are encouraged to pay attention to the characters – made more enticing by Evans and Eves’ natural chemistry and talent.
John Guleserian’s cinematography plays to New York’s natural charm throughout, especially due to the films winter setting; as the characters walk-and-talk throughout the quiet streets of early morning NYC, we are offered a different perspective of the city typically shown on the big screen.
In all honesty, it’s one of those one-shot films that you find on Netflix, watch once, and enjoy it for all that it is. It certainly demonstrates, nonetheless, that a potentially successful future lies behind the camera for Chris Evans.
Thanks for reading!
*Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair also contributed to the screenplay.