SLIFF 2010 Review: WAITING FOR FOREVER - We Are Movie Geeks

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Review by Mike Gregory

WAITING FOR FOREVER  is the story of Will (wonderfully played by Tom Sturridge), a drifter with a long love for
Emma (Rachel Bilson), and what happens when he meets her after years apart.

This is a low-key film that tugs at the heartstrings, but director James Keach can’t decide whether
this is a fantasy or a realistic drama. By trying to do both at the same time, he deals a serious
blow to his film. The film flows very well for most of the running time, but the final third is
where it begins to fall apart.

The performances are very strong. Tom Sturridge gives a star-making performance as Will.
Will is a dreamer who is guided by his heart, and only his heart. He’s the kind of guy who
sincerely believes John Lennon’s famous quote: “All you need is love.” Will is living in a
fantasy world that he created, and the film implies that he may have underlying psychological
problems; nevertheless, he’s virtually impossible not to like. As Emma, Rachel Bilson is
adorable. It’s not hard to understand why Will is in love with her (or thinks he is). The other
important performance is Jim, Will’s realistic older brother. Jim, played by Scott Mechlowicz,
has grown up, gotten married and all that. He’s matured while Will hasn’t. Mechlowicz has a
tricky role. We view him as a jerk because he’s telling Will the hard truths about life, but he’s
also right. Bit performances by Richard Jenkins, a miscast Nikki Blonsky (Tracy from the movie
musical of “Hairspray”), and an uneven Blythe Danner round out the supporting cast.

As wonderful as this film is, the film’s final third is mishandled, and for a movie that’s only 90
minutes long, that’s a large portion of it. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t say what
happens, but by not tipping the scales either way, he has gotten himself into a corner and as a
result, the ending is unconvincing. I almost decided the film wasn’t worth going out to see, but
the bottom line is that I really enjoyed this film, regardless of its faults, and that’s the bottom line.

WAITING FOR FOREVER will play during the 19th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival on Saturday, November 13th at 7:00 pm in the Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus.

1 Comment

  1. Caitlin

    November 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I was there! Great job! I agree with your take of the ending and the noting of Hollywood fantasy/realism aspect.

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