In Your Eyes Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Mark Feuerstein. Directed by Brin Hill. Not rated. On demand via Vimeo.
Immediately after premiering his new film In Your Eyes at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, writer and producer Joss Whedon announced that it would be available on demand via Vimeo. It’s great to see someone with Whedon’s following embracing a new model of distribution, but In Your Eyes is a rare misfire from the prolific TV producer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) and filmmaker (Serenity, The Avengers). It feels more like Nicholas Sparks than Joss Whedon, centered around a cheesy supernatural romance between earthy ex-convict Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) and frustrated housewife Rebecca (Zoe Kazan).
The two share an inexplicable psychic bond, which starts bringing them closer together as Dylan faces pressure to return to a life of crime and Rebecca struggles with her marriage to an insensitive, controlling doctor (Mark Feuerstein). The actors have trouble establishing a romantic connection without ever sharing the screen, and Stahl-David is especially awkward (the movie also features one of the clumsiest pseudo-sex scenes ever filmed). Whedon handed directing duties to Brin Hill, whose flat visual style adds nothing to Whedon’s uncharacteristically bland screenplay. Maybe sending the movie direct to VOD was just a way for Whedon to cut his losses.