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Before We Go
Genre Romance
 
Review:

Before We Go is a directorial debut for Chris Evans, a Hollywood star who has become synonymous with Captain America. While Evans is best known for his blockbuster appearances, he's starred in the odd romantic comedy and has decided to go behind the camera for Before We Go, an upbeat romance drama and mystery about two strangers whose night of adventures draw them closer.

The film follows in the tradition of Before Sunrise and Once, focusing on the relationship of two people,  who develop a strong connection over the course of a day. Yet it's more in tune with Song One, which also felt like it was inspired by these films. A name star or two, a music bent, a low budget feel and essentially an intimate two-hander romance are characteristics of both films.

Before We Go starts off quite awkwardly as our co-leads find a reason to join forces. Evans is an opportunist, who seems like he's only offering his help to a beautiful woman, who has had her handbag stolen in order to make her acquaintance. He stars opposite Eve, whose strange situation makes it seem as though they're both confidence tricksters and each other's next con.

Unfortunately, the chemistry isn't easy-going and while at first this matches how you'd expect most strangers to behave, the clunkiness doesn't seem like it will ever let up. The scenarios seem contrived, possibly aggravated by some cheesy dialogue and the odd couple seem to land themselves in a lot of trouble in trying to work up some cash. This constant situational dilemna would've probably worked better if the emphasis was on comedy.

They make a good-looking couple, but the feeling seems forced with Alice Eve off-balance and self- conscious. Perhaps she filmed Before We Go when she was pregnant, because that would inform her stand-offish and closed disposition. Things improve quite dramatically in the third act as circumstances allow the true heart of the story to emerge, but getting there is too much of a slog.

Some of the lines are just plain cheesy and while you want to believe in the perfect gentleman, the motivations are obscured and you're constantly wondering what the angle is. This air of mystery around the interplay keeps an underlying tension, but it's not leveraged to the full dramatic extent.

Before We Go is a fairly harmless reworking of Once, but it lacks charm, simmers in a contrived environment, dips into cheesy dialogue and comes across as forced with uneasy chemistry. The co-leads are respectable and do their best under trying circumstances, but this one got away from them, despite a last ditch effort to redeem the film.

The bottom line: Forced


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