Film: In Your Eyes

For much of its run, In Your Eyes (2014) is a premise in search of a story. A fantasy romance from an early script by Joss Whedon, it’s about star-crossed lovers who share a mysterious psychic link that enables them to see through each other’s eyes and share emotional experiences. In small-town New Hampshire is Rebecca (Zoe Kazan), the troubled wife of a doctor, while Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) is an intelligent ne’er-do-well in rural New Mexico with a criminal past. Neither is going well, when their link suddenly comes into sharp relief, giving them each an instantly reachable confidant with whom to interact. Their obsessive connection creates problems in their separate lives, but also inexorably brings them together.

An earnest, indie production, In Your Eyes is, alas, not a particularly good film. It spends a considerable percentage of its running time establishing its fantastical premise, but fails to realize that premise with any visual gusto. The one time it attempts to depict the characters seeing through each others’ eyes, the effect is weak, and the rest of the time their conversations basically play out like phone calls. The premise also handcuffs the stars with the challenging task of interacting, and falling in love, without actually being in the same place. Stahl-David manages this trick better than Kazan, but neither truly shines.

Eventually, the couple’s rapport achieves some depth, and conflict enters the picture, and a story develops; the film is not completely without interest. But overall, it’s an unimpressive slog, definitely a disappointment by Whedon’s usual standard.

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