Saturday 3 February 2024

Movie Review: Finding You (2020)

Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama  
Director: Brian Baugh  
Starring: Rose Reid, Vanessa Redgrave, Jedidiah Goodacre  
Running Time: 119 minutes  

Synopsis: After failing a music academy audition, aspiring New York violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) spends a semester in Ireland. Her brother had benefited from a similar experience, and Finley stays with the same host family. Her Irish experiences include a romance with dragons-and-magic movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre); caring for the elderly Cathleen Sweeney (Vanessa Redgrave); interacting with frequently drunk local fiddle player Seamus (Patrick Bergin); and searching for a graveyard cross that held meaning for her brother.

What Works Well: This wholesome teen romance is packed with Irish landscapes, engaging side-stories, sprinkles of humour, and colourful secondary characters. Director and writer Brian Baugh applies only the lightest of faith-based touches, and otherwise allows most characters to lean into their good sides and avoid profanity. The violin-and-fiddle music and pretty scenery are deployed in manageable doses, while Vanessa Redgrave as the elderly-woman-with-a-secret-past adds a welcome quality gloss to her scenes.

What Does Not Work As Well: The running time is a good thirty minutes too long, and the final act drowns in maudlin music and a succession of tearjerking scenes. Rose Reid earns Finley's charm with an honest performance, but both her and Jedidiah Goodacre in the lead roles are far from polished. Many plot details, like the press remaining clueless about movie star Beckett's small-town accommodation whereabouts, and his entire movie seemingly being shot at one location, fail basic scrutiny.

Conclusion: Well-intentioned and pleasant romance, on a quest to reveal the positives within.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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