DVD Review - Come and Find Me

Aaron Paul is the Emmy-winning actor from Breaking Bad who kept himself somewhat busy last year. He did two TV series. He was in the live-action series The Path on Hulu and the animated program BoJack Horseman on Netflix. He also did five, feature films. I just reviewed The 9th Life of Louis Drax in which he had a small role but was by far the best thing about it. The two best films that Paul did in 2016 was Eye in the Sky and Central Intelligence. He didn't have to carry those previous films though. He does have the leading role here, and he is good in that position. He's charming and engaging. He's also very empathetic. He's believable as an every man who tries but can only muster spurts of being a reluctant bad-ass.

The way this movie begins, one might think it could go the way of The Vanishing (1993) or possibly Gone Girl (2014). Aaron Paul stars as David Lorrain, a graphic designer in Los Angeles who wakes up one day and discovers that his girlfriend has disappeared without a trace and he spends the rest of the film trying to figure out what happened to her. Along the way, he learns things about her that he's shocked by. The whole thing becomes a test of his faith in her and his feelings about the strength of their relationship. It becomes a test of how far he'll go for love.

Written and directed by Zack Whedon, his feature debut focuses a lot on the hunt that David has to find his girlfriend. He gets caught up in a lot of intrigue and danger. As such, it feels very much like an Alfred Hitchcock film. It has echoes of Vertigo (1958) and North By Northwest (1959). It is not as great as those two classics, but it feels akin to those noirs. Aaron Paul could perhaps be the love child of James Stewart and Cary Grant from those two films and he's effective on that level.

Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors and Peaky Blinders) co-stars as Claire Collins, the aforementioned girlfriend who goes missing. The film reveals who she is through flashbacks. She has a job as a photographer. She doesn't realize she lives in the same building as David. She meets him in what might be the cutest meet-cute to be written in a while. She's beautiful and fun, precise in certain things, sloppy about other things.

Chris Chalk (The Newsroom and Gotham) plays Buck Cameron, a friend of Claire who visits after Claire disappears and offers insight into who she is. Rounding out the cast are Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope and The Mindy Project), Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse and Agent Carter) and Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings and Parenthood) who all play men from Claire's past who provide information on who she was or what happened to her. There's also a brief appearance by Terry Chen who plays the detective helping to investigate Claire's disappearance.

Because the film ultimately deals with the identity of this woman and her relationship vis-à-vis a man, as well as false perceptions, the best comparison is Gone Girl. Whedon's film is less dark and demented. It's thrilling for sure, but slightly more fun than David Fincher's 2014 movie.

Another comparison is to another recent independent film, and that's Complete Unknown (2016). That film was a quieter, New York City drama about a man who had the woman he loved disappear but who now discovers this new identity she has. Because Zack Whedon is brother to Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, this movie has the new identity be one rife with danger and action, if not supernatural power.

That being said, Whedon keeps things surprising. The whole piece is constantly on edge and who knows how it will end. Whedon isn't like Hitchcock in that Whedon doesn't flesh out the crazy plot that one realizes is existing. Whedon has that crazy plot in the background and only hints at it. That can be frustrating but it can also maintain focus on what he sees is more important and that's the relationship between David and Claire.

Rated R for language and some violence.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 52 mins.


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