Movie Review - Before We Go

Chris Evans took a break from his super hero persona in the Marvel Studios films to do this and several independent projects. This one marks his directorial debut, and he cribs a lot from Richard Linklater's series of films starting with Before Sunrise. Evans even takes part of Linklater's title.

Written by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair with a story by Ron Bass and Jen Smolka, the movie was possibly going in a direction that I highly appreciated, but unfortunately it veers back into predictability. We're introduced to two characters and it's predictable that they're going to end up together romantically. At first, it seemed as if the two might not end up together, but alas it has to be predictable.

Alice Eve stars as Brooke Dalton. I'm not sure if she says what her profession is, but her purse gets stolen at a bar right before she's supposed to catch her train from Manhattan to Boston. She still has her ticket, but she's late to Grand Central Terminal and misses her ride. She doesn't have any friends in the city, so she's stranded at night with no money, no identification, and her cell phone broke.

Chris Evans co-stars as Nick Vaughn, an aspiring trumpet player who is in town attending a friend's party and to go for an audition for a famous, jazz musician. He's playing in Grand Central on a lark when he sees Broke having her troubles. He decides to try to help her. His attempts to get her to Boston fail, so he ends up just hanging out with her all night long.

Both have other people in their lives. Brooke has a husband and Nick has an ex-girlfriend with whom he wants to re-connect. Both have issues with each of those other people, and the hope is that Brooke and Nick can solve those issues and then go their separate ways, but instead the hackneyed convention holds that Brooke and Nick have to end up together.

A lot of it feels contrived. It's not clear why Brooke doesn't go to the police and report the theft, or why Nick never takes her to the police. Just a lot of contrivances are introduced to keep them running the streets of Manhattan. Evans is handsome and charming. Eve is lovely and sweet, but it's not enough.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some suggestive content.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 35 mins.


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