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In Your Eyes Review: From a Bias Joss Whedon Fan

In Your Eyes

Rating:
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Star

This writer is a huge Joss Whedon fan and thinks his work is the gold standard of film, television and the internet. The writing of In Your Eyes has some of the famous Whedon touches. There is the witty dialogue. There is a blend of humor, angst and suspense. There is the quest for redemption that does not end for the characters when the film ends. There is the contrast between the two main characters that end of falling in love (considering this film has been marketed as a paranormal romance, that’s not really a spoiler. Example of a great Opposites Attract Whedon couple: Zoe the hardened soldier and Wash the joker from Firefly: possibly the greatest fictitious couple in the history of television). This film is about a New England Yuppie girl connecting with a rural New Mexico ex-con.
There are certain Whedon elements missing in the film because he did not direct it (though Dre Goddard was able to keep the Whedon spirit in Cabin in the Woods). While Brin Hill certainly did a fine job, this writer couldn’t help but long for those elements that make Joss Whedon’s work so great. Despite complaints from some critics that audiences missed out of Joss Whedon’s dialogue when they watch last year’s Much Ado About Nothing, therefore missed the Whedon experience; those critics did not understand the Whedon experience and need to watch the Buffy episode “Hush.” Joss Whedon always strives to make both major and minor characters relevant to the plot. He is also concerned about the chemistry of the cast and used creative visuals and editing to convey meaning.
One of the issues that this writer had with In Your Eyes if that most of the characters beyond the two main tele-lovers Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) just feel two-dimensional. Sure, Nikki Reed gets more to do in this film than all five of the Twilight movies combined, but that’s a pretty low bar. Because the supporting characters don’t feel relevant, the foundations for some of the actions of the two leads are not strong. There is payoff in this film that does not have as good of a set-up as it should. The cast lacked the chemistry Joss Whedon casts normally have.
It was clever to contrast the setting of the cold, but wealthy New Hampshire life Rebecca lived with the desolate, poverty rural life in which Dylan was trapped. The Rebecca character is nowhere near as strong as Whedon females normally are. She obeys and relies on men from the beginning to the end of the story. She does help Dylan, but ultimately relies on him. There is something to be said for a relationship where characters redeem each other, but Rebecca felt like a damsel in distress for nearly all of the film. There was just a lot more that could have been done with the visuals, sound and editing that could have made this film distinct among other independent efforts. It didn’t have to be to the level of Joss Whedon, but Brin Hill could have been more creative to make this film unique, especially with a premise as intriguing as the one in the script. Overall, this film is worth watching online. People who are not familiar with Whedon may enjoy it more than hardcore Whedon fans who love his strong casts with great chemistry though.