Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: See Girl Run

Quietly winning relationship film forces Robin Tunney to choose between her husband and a high-school sweetheart.

April 22, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376088-See_Girl_Run_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A sensitive, no-copouts film about relationships and moments of truth both genuine and manufactured, Nate Meyer's See Girl Run should earn much more attention than the director's debut, Pretty in the Face. The presence of “Parks and Recration” charmer Adam Scott increases commercial appeal, though marketers will have to keep audiences from assuming the gently introspective Girl is a comedy.

Scott plays Jason, the high-school boyfriend inspiring escape fantasies for Emmie (Robin Tunney), whose marriage to Graham (Josh Hamilton) has grown stale. Emmie and Jason never officially broke up when she left for college, and Emmie's current ennui has led her to obsess about what she expected from marriage and what might have happened if she'd stayed with Jason. One day she packs a bag and (leaving no note for Graham) goes home to small-town Maine, intending to reconnect with her troubled brother Brandon (Jeremy Strong) while mustering the nerve to see if there's life left in her first love.

While Emmie gives voice to the concerns of 30- and 40-somethings in the audience, frustrated with the failure of actual long-term relationships to live up to pop-culture-derived expectations—her disappointment echoed nicely by the film's perpetually overcast coastal skies—Jason still hasn't had to face these realities. Scott squeezes as much emotional sophistication as will fit into a character whose continued romanticism is almost childish, especially when paired with artistic ambitions focused largely on dorkily cute paintings of frogs.

Meyer's script isn't humorless, but it rarely offers a laugh that isn't tied to some poignant expression of compromise or disappointment. Though the story seems pointed toward a follow-your-bliss reunion, Meyer doesn't make it easy for Emmie (or us) to dismiss the commitments she's made; in a nice scene, Emmie's father (William Sadler, getting an unexpected opportunity to be the voice of emotional wisdom) uses a military metaphor to argue that flexibility and steadfastness aren't incompatible.

See Girl Run is a bit thin compared to an ensemble film like Beautiful Girls, which explored similar themes in another setting heavy on local color. But it works well given its scale, leaving viewers moved but not manipulated—and taking pains not to construct another fantasy about love that will endanger viewers' ability to navigate the actual relationships life brings them.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: See Girl Run

Quietly winning relationship film forces Robin Tunney to choose between her husband and a high-school sweetheart.

April 22, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376088-See_Girl_Run_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A sensitive, no-copouts film about relationships and moments of truth both genuine and manufactured, Nate Meyer's See Girl Run should earn much more attention than the director's debut, Pretty in the Face. The presence of “Parks and Recration” charmer Adam Scott increases commercial appeal, though marketers will have to keep audiences from assuming the gently introspective Girl is a comedy.

Scott plays Jason, the high-school boyfriend inspiring escape fantasies for Emmie (Robin Tunney), whose marriage to Graham (Josh Hamilton) has grown stale. Emmie and Jason never officially broke up when she left for college, and Emmie's current ennui has led her to obsess about what she expected from marriage and what might have happened if she'd stayed with Jason. One day she packs a bag and (leaving no note for Graham) goes home to small-town Maine, intending to reconnect with her troubled brother Brandon (Jeremy Strong) while mustering the nerve to see if there's life left in her first love.

While Emmie gives voice to the concerns of 30- and 40-somethings in the audience, frustrated with the failure of actual long-term relationships to live up to pop-culture-derived expectations—her disappointment echoed nicely by the film's perpetually overcast coastal skies—Jason still hasn't had to face these realities. Scott squeezes as much emotional sophistication as will fit into a character whose continued romanticism is almost childish, especially when paired with artistic ambitions focused largely on dorkily cute paintings of frogs.

Meyer's script isn't humorless, but it rarely offers a laugh that isn't tied to some poignant expression of compromise or disappointment. Though the story seems pointed toward a follow-your-bliss reunion, Meyer doesn't make it easy for Emmie (or us) to dismiss the commitments she's made; in a nice scene, Emmie's father (William Sadler, getting an unexpected opportunity to be the voice of emotional wisdom) uses a military metaphor to argue that flexibility and steadfastness aren't incompatible.

See Girl Run is a bit thin compared to an ensemble film like Beautiful Girls, which explored similar themes in another setting heavy on local color. But it works well given its scale, leaving viewers moved but not manipulated—and taking pains not to construct another fantasy about love that will endanger viewers' ability to navigate the actual relationships life brings them.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

PK
Film Review: PK

An alien trying to return home tangles with religious authorities in a low-key Bollywood message drama. More »

A Small Section
Film Review: A Small Section of the World

Worthy but uninvolving documentary about the coffee-producing women of Costa Rica. More »

Sagrada
Film Review: Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation

The fabulous 130-year work-in-progress that is Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral, as well as its crazy-brilliant originator, Antonio Gaudi, is the focus of this vividly informative documentary. More »

Inside the Mind of Leonardo
Film Review: Inside the Mind of Leonardo in 3D

Documentary-feature hybrid that offers unexpected insight into the world of Leonardo da Vinci, but nonetheless suffers from a heavy hand and pretentious sensibility. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Into the Woods
Film Review: Into the Woods

Over-scaled, too dark and only intermittently charming Sondheim musical adaptation does a disservice to a great cast and is often so noisy you can't even appreciate the music. More »

The H obbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Film Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After rewriting the rules for modern fantasy cinema, for the better and worse, Peter Jackson’s six-film Tolkien saga slams, bangs and shudders to a long-overdue conclusion. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here