Were it not for four words in its trailer, I’d likely have barely noticed this little indie film that’s only available On Demand rather than in cinemas or as a DVD. Those words were “written by Joss Whedon.”
To be honest that was probably not a great reason. Not that I don’t adore Whedon’s work – if you read this blog regularly you’ll know I most certainly do. However, having mentally framed it as a Whedon film meant I was making rather unhelpful comparisons for much. I knew before I started that this story of two telepathically linked strangers falling in love was not going to be mistaken for Buffy or the Avengers. However, I probably spent much too of the film continuing to observe this difference and I might have given it more credit had I not.
I did miss the kind of repartee which generally characterises Whedon’s work and found the style of In Your Eyes rather anodyne by contrast. In fact, one reviewer quoted on Rotten Tomatoes described it as feeling “feeling more Nicholas Sparks than Joss Whedon.”
This is not necessarily a terrible thing. The film certainly has a sweetness to it and some nice central performances from Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David. But if like me you prefer spikiness to sweetness then this is likely to come as a disappointment.
This is not simply a matter of secretly longing for the Hulk to come along and smash an invading alien spaceship. Whedon should be applauded for using his status as director of mega-movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron (estimated budget $250 million) to float little indie films like this one (estimated budget less than $1 million). However, I’m not sure this was the project most deserving of his attention. In particular it compares unfavourably with Whedon’s recent adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing which was shot for an equally low budget.
Verdict: 6/10 – yeah it’s ok but it’s not really to my taste and Whedon can do better.