Chris Evans and Alive Eve star in this romantic Indie movie that isn’t a romance
Before We Go is a deceptively entertaining movie, one of the year’s best in terms of cute romantic drama. Captain America (Chris Evans) directs and stars in this little indie romance that zigs when you expect it to zag. The movie features surprisingly capable, assured direction from the Marvel superhero making his directorial debut. Alice Eve plays the woman that quickly becomes his trusted companion and friend over the course of one long night in New York City. Two strangers meet by happenstance at Grand Central Station and soon they are on a desperate odyssey together to get the woman home the next morning in Boston. The engaging script avoids most of the typical cliches seen in romantic films.
This is a likable, charming indie with two leads that have natural chemistry together. While most romantic movies are more geared towards female fantasies of love, Before We Go is closer to a male fantasy of how things should go in love with its wistful attitude about past relationships. The tight storytelling quickly zeroes in on these characters and what makes them tick, developing two very interesting characters along the way.
Nick (the ever likable Chris Evans) is a musician waiting around Grand Central Station when a chance encounter changes his life over one magical night. Brooke (Alive Eve) has had her purse stolen and the only thing she has left is a train ticket for her home in Boston. She arrives late for the last train of the night, stranding her in New York City. Trying to avoid his own problems, Nick offers Brooke assistance finding her stolen purse.
What develops never feels rushed or forced…
What develops never feels rushed or forced…
Before We Go is clever to conveniently eliminate the storytelling scourges of their smartphones and credit cards early in their journey together. That removes the distractions that would put an unnecessary crimp into the carefully structured, improbable sequence of events that plays out in this narrative. The two strangers begin their adventure with no expectations as they learn more about themselves. What develops never feels rushed or forced, but evolves naturally between Nick and Brooke.
This is a coyly romantic movie that smartly plays around with the audience’s expectations. Nick is simply a nice guy that has been wounded by love in the past. He’s stuck in neutral, waiting for his big break as a trumpet player. He’s still haunted by an old flame. Nick quickly becomes intrigued by Brooke as they search around New York in the middle of the night, hoping to find her a way home without much money between them. When she reveals early on that she’s married, Nick doesn’t believe her. It is an obstacle that looms throughout Before We Go. These two people seem perfect for each other, but Brooke is already married and claims to love her husband.
When I saw that Chris Evans was directing this indie film, I rolled my eyes. Star actors often tackle vanity projects that turn out disastrous. Expecting a hackneyed indie romcom, Before We Go approaches its subjects carefully with sharp writing and two captivating turns from its leads. So much of the film depends on Chris Evans and Alice Eve – their characters are Before We Go. Nick and Brooke will learn more about themselves and what it means for their lives in one night than most will think possible. Before We Go is a charmingly romantic film that is a pleasant delight to follow its twists and turns.
Starz/Anchor Bay distributes this Weinstein Company production on Blu-ray. The entire film takes place on location in the wee morning hours of New York City, much of it outdoors. The 95-minute film is encoded in AVC on a BD-25. Presented in its native 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the video encode averages 24 Mbps.
The indie movie has some light texture and grain to its fairly standard picture quality. This is a fine presentation of a new film shot with cheap, improvised cinematography. Before We Go has unadorned, workman-like video meant to serve its story.
The untouched transfer has been left alone by digital processing but still produces average detail most of the time. Tighter shots produce better definition but most attributes are rather average, from color saturation to depth. Before We Go does feature a steady, even contrast with solid black levels. The cinematography includes a lot of steadicam work, which doesn’t translate to gorgeous imagery. What you get is clean, consistent picture quality that focuses on Nick and Brooke.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack includes a tasteful selection of mostly forgettable indie pop geared for the romantic movie. The entire film is built around its dialogue, though there are several moments when Nick employs his musical skills with the trumpet in pristine clarity. This is cleanly intelligible dialogue with a satisfactory surround mix for drama. Some light surround elements come into play with the sounds of the city at night. The sound design isn’t overly impressive but gets the job done.
Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles display in a white font.
The bonus features are a trailer preceding the menu and a short featurette that might as well be EPK content.
The Last Five Years Trailer (02:11 in HD)
A Conversation With Chris Evans (03:31 in HD) – The star discusses the difference directing a movie from merely acting in one. After clips are removed, we might get 90 seconds of actual conversation from Evans. That is disappointing for a movie I enjoyed a great deal but I guess he was off busy filming Captain America: Civil War.
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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.