Liz T., Here…
Have you heard the one about the married couple who invite a foreign exchange student into their house and “suddenly” an attraction develops between the young girl and the husband? Wait, you say you are familiar with this overused cliché? Perhaps you should tell Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) that the plotline of his new movie Breathe In is better suited for a Lifetime movie than the big screen.
Keith (Pearce) and Megan Reynolds (Amy Ryan) are proud parents of Lauren (Mackenzie Davis), a swimmer and high school student. Megan is excited to open her home to foreign exchange student Sophie (Felicity Jones) and ignores the objections of her daughter and husband. Keith is especially opposed because he fears that it will get in the way of his preparation for his upcoming auditions to the New York Symphony, which he finds more fulfilling than his current position as a high school music teacher.
Sophie arrives and becomes immersed in the Reynolds’ lives. She bunks with Lauren and is placed in Keith’s class. As Sophie comes out of her shell, she gives a revealing piano solo performance and piques Keith’s interest. She and Keith feel a connection and develop an attraction to one another. As they become closer, cracks in the Reynold’s marriage become evident. Megan is a passive aggressive character who waffles between being aware and oblivious to the actions occurring in her home, focusing instead on her needs and playing the typical happy homemaker. She is not the only typecast role. There are gossipy high school students, the keeping up with the Jones’ friends and a high school heartbreaking boyfriend.
Unfortunately, Director Drake Doremus makes it difficult to connect with most of the characters since many are not fleshed out. The first hour of the film is wasted on pointless subplots, which only drag down an already slow-paced film. Breathe In is filled with awkward close-up scenes with little dialogue. The plot is quite simple. What is difficult to comprehend is why Pearce, a performer who can transform himself into any role is headlining this subpar film. Breathe In is disappointing and has very little to offer audience members. In fact, you may find yourself exhaling in relief by the time the film ends.
1.5 out of 5 STARS