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Film review: Before We Go - a sluggish walk around New York

Chris Evans’ directorial debut is a strong contender for year’s most boring film, featuring two overprivileged, self-obsessed young people and a storyline too bland even for a daytime soap opera

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 December, 2015, 11:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 December, 2015, 11:16am

First-time director Chris Evans’ take on Richard Linklater’s elegant, Vienna-set 1995 film Before Sunrise would be a promising entry for a most-boring-film-of-the-year award. The storyline is so bland it wouldn’t even pass master for a daytime soap, and the strangely off-kilter depiction of New York doesn’t help. Good performances could have invigorated the script, but Evans and Britain’s Alice Eve act like they’re reading their lines off an autocue.

The script features the kind of overprivileged, self-obsessed youths that blight many contemporary American indie films. Nick (Evans) is a trumpet player who’s visiting New York for an audition. Late one night at Grand Central Station, he runs into Brooke (Eve), an art buyer who’s had her handbag stolen and is stranded. Nick helps her out, and a tale of woe involving her husband and his ex-girlfriend unfolds in various parts of the big city.

Dramatic films need drama, and romances need romance, and there isn’t much of either in evidence here. In fact, nothing at all, bar some interminable whining, happens during the entire 95 minutes. Nick and Brooke talk like they’ve based their whole lives on quotes they’ve read on Twitter, and they have such straight personalities they could put rulers out of business.

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Contrary to the filmmakers’ intentions, it becomes easy to see why the characters’ respective other halves have looked for a bit of fun elsewhere.

Before We Go opens on December 10