Director: Leonard Farlinger (The Perfect Son)
Screenplay: Leonard Farlinger
Producers: Mallary Davenport, Avi Federgreen, Jennifer Jonas
Starring: Rossif Sutherland, Karine Vanasse, Don McKellar, Nicholas Campbell
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 90 min.
There’s a great tradition of road movies in Canada and when the trailer for Leonard Farlinger’s I’m Yours surfaced, it looked like we would be privy to yet another entry into the pantheon (not to mention a great cast that includes French Canadian talent Karine Vanasse, Don McKellar and Nicholas Campbell suggests a movie worth a look).
Rossif Sutherland (part of the Sutherland clan which includes older brother Kiefer and father Donald), stars as the unhappy Robert, a successful Wall Street trader who is disillusioned with his life. He sells everything he has, takes the bag of money and goes out for one last night of celebration with his co-worker friend Phil (McKellar). The two drink and are merry until Robert spots a beautiful woman at the bar. He and Daphne share a few drinks and a night of passionate love-making but on his 30th birthday, Robert wakes up hungover in the passenger seat of his car with the one-night stand at the wheel. Daphne explains that she needs a favour and after a little blackmailing, Robert finds himself on the way to Canada pretending to be Daphne’s fiancé.
The roadtrip is short and unmemorable. The car breaks down along the highway with no cell phone signal to be had. The pair end up walking and then hitchhiking, most of the time arguing, their way to Daphne’s homestead. Occasionally the two have a conversation, sharing personal tidbits of information that paints a better picture of who they are, after all they are supposed to be engaged, but the getting to know you game gets old fast. Daphne’s story is particularly vivid and brings the couple a little closer together as they discuss their parents but it’s not enough to forge an emotional bond between either the characters of the audience. There’s little chemistry between Sutherland and Vanasse beyond their physical encounter and though Vanasse does succeed in bringing some emotion to her performance, Sutherland seems lost in his. He’s flat and uninteresting and only comes alive when the pair are being intimate.
The film’s best scene, and Sutherland’s best moment, comes when Daphne arrives at her parents’ home alone after having called ahead to say that she’s coming with her fiancé. Sutherland makes a surprise late arrival and the already strained lunch goes from bad to worse but the tension is clear on everyone’s face and in this scene Sutherland awakens. The scene calls for discomfort and he wears the emotion well.
There is a happy ending to this story but it’s one that I’m Yours doesn’t earn. After the trouble the duo has reaching their final destination, the final twist and how it plays out feels particularly contrived and dishonest, a shame considering the final act is far superior to anything Farlinger presents previously.
I’m Yours does capture some of the stark beauty of the Canadian winter, which plays nicely as a metaphor to Robert and Daphne’s personal situations, but it fails to deliver the romantic roadtrip movie suggested by the trailer.
I’m Yours is available on DVD and on Tuesday, July 31st.
DVD Extras: Making of featurette.
Click “play” to see the trailer: