Monday, July 23, 2012

New See Girl Run Review

I came across another new See Girl Run review, by framespersecondfilmreviews - to read it, click on Read More.

See Girl Run (2012) Film Review
In Nate Meyer’s See Girl Run, themes of missed opportunity and long-lost love are deftly and languidly explored. At 89 minutes, the film’s slow pace may be tedious to some viewers, but See Girl Run makes the most of its meandering by causing each viewer to question the dangers of romanticizing the past, the difference between optimism and naiveté, and whether it is better to hold onto a dream or to let it go. 

“I just always thought I would end up with somebody who made the world feel bigger,” says Emmie (Robin Tunney, The Mentalist) who is struggling in a passionless marriage to Graham (Josh Hamilton). An owner of a successful dog-walking business, Emmie finds herself consumed by the “what if’s” in her life — namely, what if she and her high school boyfriend Jason (Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation and Party Down fame) had not drifted apart? Jason and Emmie never officially broke up, a gray area which causes Emmie to return to her hometown to see if her love for Jason is truly sincere or rather idealized. 

While Emmie’s life is mired in unhappiness caused by familiarity, Jason’s seems not to have altered much at all. He is struggling in his relationships and as an artist (he paints caricatures with a concentration on drawing frogs). The film takes its time with unveiling Jason’s character; he isn’t a conventional hero and isn’t treated as such. A romantic, an idealist, Jason travels through his life convinced that, if he tries hard enough, he will succeed. Though not childish, Jason does possess a child-like innocence that makes him a sympathetic character. 

Jason and Emmie are kept apart for the majority of the film, a stylistic element that makes adds more realism than your average romantic drama. You’ll find no montages or jumping-on-a-plane-to-declare-your-love scenes here. Ultimately, Emmie and Jason are cut from the same cloth — nostalgic for a love that has long gone, holding onto a dream that is slipping from reach, caught between the real-life ending and the Hollywood interpretation. 

See Girl Run is ultimately buoyed by strong performances by Scott, Tunney, and the rest of the supporting cast. Scott’s range, from sardonically hilarious Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation to deeply troubled Caleb Sinclaire in The Vicious Kind, is apparent in the nuance he brings to Jason. Jeremy Strong plays Emmie’s brother Brandon, a recovering alcoholic who grapples with depression but is far more of a realist than Emmie or Jason. William Sadler as Emmie’s father offers important advice to his daughter about love which feels refreshingly genuine and unrehearsed. 

What the film does beautifully is juxtaposing the beliefs of its protagonists. The idealism of Jason contrasts strongly with the bitter disappointment Brandon feels in losing his dreams. The presently terse marriage of Emmie’s parents challenges the idea that they once were happy together while new love brings joy to Emmie’s grandmother. All the while, Emmie confronts the realities of her marriage with the expectation of how things could be with Jason. These contrasting relationships are all touched upon in the film and cause the viewer to wonder which paths are right for these characters and for themselves.

Ultimately, See Girl Run is a true character — study lush, relaxed, and realistic while still being unpredictable. Dramatic and emotion-filled, but nonetheless inexplicably uplifting. 

3 and 1/2 stars (***1/2) out of 5 

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