Breathe In (2014)
Starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis
Directed by Drake Doremus
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
A bit too subdued for its own good, Breathe In treads a familiar path -- older married man (Guy Pearce) falls for a much younger teenage high school student (Felicity Jones) -- but finds itself buoyed by some nicely mannered performances. Pearce and Jones certainly make Drake Doremus' film watchable, but its slow pace and slight payoff leave a little to be desired.
When British exchange student Sophie (Jones) boards with a suburban New York family for a semester, husband and wife Keith and Megan Reynolds (Pearce and Amy Ryan) and their teenage daughter Lauren (Mackenzie Davis) look forward to being able to show the young woman what the United States has to offer. A rather advanced pianist, Sophie finds herself placed in Keith's high school music class where her talent and focus is a turn on to the struggling cellist Keith who wants to leave his teaching career behind and earn a coveted spot in a world-renowned orchestra. Heretofore, Keith certainly never seemed unhappy in his marriage to Megan, but Sophie's interest in his interests invigorates him with the two eventually finding themselves bonding a bit more than they should.
Rather interestingly, Doremus and his co-writer Ben York Jones keep things as innocent as possible for as long as possible and even when Keith and Sophie turn towards romance, their feelings are depicted as more like lustful puppy love as opposed to lustful abandon. While this is certainly an intriguing idea to keep things more "clean," it also doesn't quite provide the spark that a movie like this really needs. Once again, Pearce and Jones have a palpable chemistry that makes their burgeoning relationship work and I guess there's kudos to be given to the duo for making the whole situation not feel "icky," but Breathe In doesn't quite overcome its overarching sense of dullness.
The RyMickey Rating: C