Finley, a talented aspiring violinist, meets Beckett, a famous young movie star, on the way to her college semester abroad program in a small coastal village in Ireland. An unexpected romance emerges as the heartthrob Beckett leads the uptight Finley on an adventurous reawakening, and she emboldens him to take charge of his future, until the pressures of his stardom get in the way.
There is a lot going on in Brain Baugh’s Finding You. I mean, A LOT! Buckle up. Here we go…
So, Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) is a talented violinist who botches her audition at a major New York City music conservatory and decides she needs a change of atmosphere, so she takes advantage of her school’s study abroad program and takes off to Ireland to, conveniently, stay with the family her brother lodged with when he was in the same program. (All of this takes place within the first five minutes…I’m not kidding.)
In order to pass her Irish Studies class, our heroine is required to spend 20 hours with a crotchety, bitter old woman (Vanessa Redgrave) in a nursing home who can’t stand her. Undeterred, Finley decides to find out just why this octogenarian is so contrary and starts digging into her past, uncovering a family scandal. Meanwhile, she’s been given a notebook that once belonged to her brother from her host family and it contains a sketch of a distinctive gravestone, her name at the bottom of the drawing. What does it all mean? Where exactly is this marker? Finley sets out to find out.
Oh, there’s also this movie star, Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre) who’s filming a Game of Thrones-like epic in the area and just happens to be staying at Finley’s host family’s home, which doubles as a bed and breakfast. The two youngsters are falling in love…then again, maybe they’re not…but maybe they are…
There are many obvious clues that I do not fall within the demographic You is pitched to, its breakneck pace and all-over-the-place storytelling being the most obvious. And yet, be that as it may, I ended up liking this light-hearted romance, a breezy update of Notting Hill that gets by on its easy charm and, most importantly, the charisma of its two leads, a duo so likable and at ease with each other that were they to make a series of films together, I wouldn’t mind a bit.
Reid and Goodacre are both relatively unknown – the former with only five credits to her name, the latter with over 25 – yet there’s a confidence in their performances and an ease to their on-screen presence one would expect from seasoned actors. Charming and sincere together, they give us a couple we become invested in, not simply because they light up the screen when together but because of their characters’ individual trials.
At the core of all the narrative tumult described above is the story of two artists trying to find their passion for being, either through their work or personal life. Finley is technically precise when she plays but lacks passion. Thank goodness there’s a crusty, charismatic fiddler (Patrick Bergen) at the local pub who can show her how to put her heart and soul into her playing. Meanwhile, Beckett finds himself at a moral crossroads, wanting to give up his life of fame and fortune for a more normal day-to-day existence. Beginning at a young age, he knows no other life than being in front of the camera and has come to resent his constantly being in the limelight. That his father (Tom Everett Scott), who also happens to be his manager, is far more concerned about his commission than his son’s well-being only adds to the young man’s confusion.
Obviously, there’s nothing remotely original in You, but the conviction with which it’s rendered and the genuine nature of its characters make it a worthwhile diversion. I smiled throughout and never checked my watch once. Sometimes, that’s all you need.