Before We Go (2014)

Before We Go (2014)
  • Time: 89 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Chris Evans
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Alice Eve, Emma Fitzpatrick


A woman misses the 1:30 train from New York to Boston and a street musician spends the night trying to help her make it back home before her husband does. Throughout the night they learn a lot about one another and eventually find a romance.

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  • A long night’s journey into day, the romantic drama Before We Go begins in Grand Central Station. Nick (Chris Evans) is a trumpet player in town for an audition, sorting out his audition piece by busking in the station’s crowded corridors. By the time Brooke (Alice Eve) rushes past him in a desperate dash to catch the last train to New Haven, the halls have emptied out as the station prepares to close down for the night.

    Brooke misses the train, and it’s another terrible thing to happen in a day of terrible things. Her handbag, containing all her cash and credit cards, has been stolen, her cell phone is broken, she doesn’t know anyone in the city, and she has to make it back home before her husband arrives in the morning. She’s a damsel in distress and Nick just happens to be a good guy with a heavy heart looking to be a hero. Never mind that he’s strapped for cash, his credit cards are either overdrawn or expired, and that his cell phone is low on battery life. He wants to come to her rescue and, though Brooke is initially wary of his assistance, she eventually allows his gallantry. Together, the two strangers set off on a series of minor adventures, getting to know one another and perhaps falling in love along the way.

    Evans and Eve make for an appealing pair, though their chemistry is continually undermined by the four screenwriters (Ron Bass, Jen Smolka, Chris Shafer, and Paul Vicknair), who do an awful lot of straining to keep coming up with believable ways to keep the characters together throughout the night. They concoct fairly weak back stories along with past and present romantic entanglements for the two to dissect, lament, and resolve. Unfortunately, these problems and other contrivances make for laborious viewing. At least the packaging is pretty. John Guleserian’s handheld camerawork lends an undercurrent of dreamy romanticism, whilst editor John Axelrad brings a gentle rhythm to the proceedings.

    Before We Go is a creditable directorial debut from Evans. It may seem a modest undertaking when compared to the more ambitious efforts of Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, Warren Beatty’s Reds, Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, or even Ryan Gosling’s recent Lost River. Yet the romantic genre is a deceptively simple one, requiring extreme care and often reliant upon an elusive alchemy. However, when you openly tip your hat to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Linklater’s film has spawned many a copycat, but none have been able to match the original’s heart and soul.

    Evans has the ability to be a fine director, but he needs further development to be able to overcome the deficiencies in the script. Charm can mask many a weakness. Evans and Eve are both long on charm, but it’s not enough to overcome the plodding screenplay.

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