For a movie about writing and art, it didn’t convey a lot of feeling. Clive Owen as writer/English teacher Jack Marcus and Juliette Binoche as painter/art teacher Dina Delsanto are an odd couple as colleagues, but even stranger as romantic partners. Separately, Owen and Binoche were much more compelling than when together. This proved to be unfortunate as the majority of their scenes are with each other. The chemistry is lacking for this misstep in casting.
Jack is an alcoholic writer teaching Honors English at a prep school, who is trying not to get fired or lose his relationship with his adult son. Dina is battling her own personal struggles as well and is hired as the new Honors Art teacher at the same school. Each are trying to inspire their students by creating a battle of words versus pictures. The passion is lackluster on all levels making the central matter of the competition fall flat.
The movie is silly, but not funny. It has romance, but isn’t romantic. Owen and Binoche are wonderful, but for this movie sad to say, uninspiring. It’s a bit like the movie equivalent to baked chicken. There’s nothing outright wrong with it, but it’s a little bland leaving a hunger for something more. The story does have its sweet moments, but is better geared towards a matinee crowd and less a Friday night audience.
Final words: Breezy summer flick with not a lot of magic.