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Which Brings Me To You (Film Review)

3 min read

Like many-a rom-com before it, Which Brings Me to You opens with two strangers meeting at a wedding. A brash proposal comes from freelance writer Jane () just minutes after locking eyes with art photographer Will (). But romance is not on the cards for Jane, instead, she's just looking for a casual hook-up, and Will wastes no time in accepting her offer.

However, after a few minutes of passionate kissing and wall-slamming, Will draws back, suggesting they slow things down and get to know each other, much to Jane's annoyance. Over the next 24 hours, with Will's insistence, the two of them journey down memory lane, sharing stories of their romantic pasts first loves, embarrassing sexual encounters, and guilty secrets. Shown through a series of vignettes, Jane and Will are there to comment and pass judgment on each other's mistakes and questionable decisions over the years.

Will's accounts mostly revolve around falling quickly for extroverted, creative women and leaving them when things get too serious. Janes revolve around being sucked in by men who needed saving from themselves and being forced to walk away when she realised that that wasn't an option.

Whilst it is enjoyable to see these two characters transport into each other's past experiences, making amusing digs, offering judgment-free advice, and asking questions they don't wish to answer, the film never quite nails the comedy after the first flirty interaction at the wedding. What it does do is expose these characters as two people who are broken but desperate to believe that their future could be different.

What starts as a seemingly flirty, light-hearted romantic comedy, soon moves into emotional drama territory, when Jane's past reveals a heart-breaking end to one of her relationships. Will's past, in comparison, never goes quite deep enough to warrant a complete shift in tone for the film overall.

Where a lot of book-to-screen adaptations fail to adeptly portray hundreds of words and thoughts into a 90 minute movie, negative Goodreads reviews would have us believe that, in this instance, the issues lie in the source material itself, which begs the question ‘Why this book?'

Hale and Wolff pad out a reasonably thin plot with great individual performances, Wolff especially shines in a particularly emotional moment later in the film when the biggest secret from his history is revealed and he is forced to reckon with the consequences of his behaviour.

Which Brings me to You is an easy watch, with two protagonists who, whilst they aren't completely unlikable, do feel real and flawed enough to relate to, giving it a refreshing twist on the genre tropes. The film is perhaps paced a little too quickly in terms of how ‘life-changing' we are expected to believe their encounter is, but also a little too slow to remain truly memorable.

Early in the film, we are led to believe that, like with all rom-coms, the couple will fall madly in love in just 24 hours and live happily ever after. What makes What Brings Me to You more impressive in its final act than most films in the genre, is that it avoids making their proclamations too over-the-top and committed. It felt like a realistic ending to a whirlwind couple of days getting to know each other and connect, looking forward to a future where things may or may not work out.

Despite being overall pretty forgettable, Which Brings me to You does leave the viewer with an optimistic approach to relationships and falling in love, and a reminder that sometimes it takes a conversation with a complete stranger to remind us exactly who we are.

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