December 21, 2015

The Girl in the Book (2015)

The Girl in the Book (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by Marya Cohn
Country: USA

Movie Review: “The Girl in the Book”, the directorial debut feature from writer/director Marya Cohn, had everything to be successful, but failed to catch a fresher breath due to a continued sluggishness in its routines, in addition to a disappointing predictability. Emily VanCamp plays Alice Harvey, a hesitant editorial assistant for a Manhattan firm, whose life becomes precarious when Milan Daneker (Michael Nyqvist), a distinguished writer who had worked with her father - a former literary agent – appears again in her life after 15 years. Through an array of flashbacks, we start figuring out why the past keeps haunting Alice, who suddenly is turned into a pile of nerves when she was assigned to promote Milan’s book. It was obvious since the beginning that Alice, who dreams to be a writer since her teenage years, was seduced by Milan, an intrusive, experienced man and respected author who gladly became available to help and encourage, but instead took advantage of her innocence and insolently stole her writing material. This brittle woman bears everything on her shoulders and has never opened up about the trauma. We promptly realize she can’t count with her heedless father (Michael Cristofer), who always pretends not to know what’s going on, and truly thinks she doesn’t know what she wants from life. However, she’s not completely alone because there’s Emmet (David Call), a community organizer who really loves and respects her, and is seen as the unique hope for her to overcome the turbulent emotional situation that precipitously awoke. Unfortunately, a foolish misstep, involving a young boy who works as a babysitter for her best friend, puts this potential relationship at stake, as well as the friendship itself. I felt that an intensified subtleness was applied in occasions that were requiring a more unnerving disposition in order to energize the story a bit more. Despite some positive aspects in the direction, Ms. Cohn could have set a more dashing pace to move between Alice’s past and present. In terms of romance, the film also neglects a solid chemistry, preferring to rely on the conventional storytelling while failing to extract anything exceptional from the performances. “The Girl in the Book” is a rational exercise brought down by its apathetic languor.

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