Synopsis – A young woman in New York City races to catch the 1:30 Train to Boston. On the way she is robbed.
My Take – Chris Evans has been around for sometime, acting mostly as comedic goof ball or a charming play boy in most of the movies he has done. Well of course, Hollywood usually doesn’t take pretty boys seriously hence the familiar roles. In my opinion, it wasn’t until he donned himself as a symbol of patriotism in Marvel’s superhero entry Captain America: First Avenger (followed by Avengers, Winter Soldier & the Avengers sequel) & Korean director Joon-ho Bong English language debut Snowpiercer, a brilliant futuristic thriller, people noticed something. But frankly their has always been something like-able about him, you gotta admit, eve though he has starred in some horrid romantic comedies, he was probably the best part of them. It doesn’t come as a surprise, like many of his fellow actors, its time he gets on the directors chair. Especially as it seemed that he was getting pegged as either the hero, fanciable guy or main character who’s point of view determines the story arc like in most of his filmography. So how is Evans as a director? Pretty good actually! Yes! the story may remind people of Before Sunrise, but it takes a slightly different road. It has an interesting and delicate perspective on love, loss & making choices based on profound love and not just lust.
The story follows Nick Vaughan (Chris Evans), a Bostonian trumpet player who is due to go to an interview for the job of his dreams the next morning, & instead of staying in his room resting or practicing, he decides to hang out at the grand central station playing for the crowd & admiring the people. Its here where he meets Brooke Dalton (Alice Eve), an art enthusiast & buyer who misses her last train to her home in Boston. Above all, she has been robbed of her bag & is left with only a ticket for the train which leaves next at 5:30 am. Forced to leave station after it closes, Nick offers his help to make sure she reaches her home in Boston before Brooke’s husband lands in Atlanta. From there, Nick and Brooke spend the next four hours trying to get Brooke back to Boston, then helping each other with their real concerns. The best part of the story, probably the most unusual fact in terms of how Rom Coms usually play out rather banal because the man ends up convincing the woman to drop everything and be in a relationship. This time though, Nick and Brooke start as strangers and end up as connected somehow through their shared experiences. The movie is not the kind of romance that shows to have a marriage of happily forever after, but instead it shows the deepest life moments in such a few hours. It brought in a realistic message on how one can actually love more than one person in this world. It is funny, thoughtful (but not over dramatized), clever and sensitive at the same time. Finally a film where love, a man and a woman and the relationship between them is treated with respect, gentleness and is elevating, and refreshing instead of getting all mushy from the moment they meet. Its really amazing to know how the film took just 19 days to shoot! Chris Evans‘s directorial debut is completely changing the pace as he shifts away from his action-oriented career as Captain America for something more intimate and personal. And he has not a single problem capturing the drama from a performance point of view. Evans has a certain charm to him that feels welcoming and warm and exactly like the guy that you’d want to wonder around New York City with.
He’s the best kind of company and his character Nick is essentially an extension of that idea and it works well. Alice Eve comes with a little more baggage, but both seem to be the perfect match as they unravel their lives over the course of one interesting evening. It’s fun watching Evans and Eve go back and forth, constantly bringing up topics of discussion that stretch far past normal standards of conversation. They’re not afraid to get up close and personal and that sort of energy feels authentic enough to give the film some good graces. Even though I have only seen the 1st installment of Richard Linklater‘s Before trilogy, I do understand what the reviews are complaining about! Mainly as that film established a similiar theme & is still fresh in the mind of the views even though it came out two decades ago! Plus it feels the film constantly feels the need to remind us why these two characters are still associating with each other — be it a stolen purse, lack of cash or credit card funds or the fact that neither of them seem to know many people in NYC that can help them get where they need to be. And that’s a big killer for the film, because it makes everything feel like an obligation for the story to move forward and less like an organic story coming to life as the night takes over. Still, as a filmmaker Chris Evans manages to keep the story feeling engaging enough to not be considered a complete waste of time thanks to Evans as an actor & his gorgeous co star Alice Eve. On the whole, ‘Before We Go‘, is fine debut for Chris Evans on the director chairs. With a simple vision to warrant a story, he has made a film which captures hearts. Plus the film highlights how Evans and Eve’s can star in action vehicles, but also steal the show on a much smaller scale. Give it a watch!
Director – Chris Evans
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 89 minutes