Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 16, 2021)
As a 54-year-old male, romances about young women don’t fall into my wheelhouse. Still, I remain open to movies of all genres, so 2021’s Finding You wound up in my Blu-ray player.
When aspiring violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) fails to gain acceptance into a prestigious music school, she settles for Plan B: a semester abroad in Ireland. On the flight from New York, she gets a free upgrade to first class and winds up seated next to Hollywood heartthrob Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre).
The pair butt heads and seem done with each other. However, fate has different plans, as both wind up at the same quaint bed and breakfast. Could the two possibly fall in love?
Duh. What kind of romantic drama would Finding bring if it lacked romance?
Whether or not Finding locates anything new to say in this well-explored genre becomes a different matter, however. Unsurprisingly, the answer comes back “no”.
Not that this dooms Finding to become a drag. Derivative as the story might be, the basic premise offers decent room for entertainment.
However, Finding never manages to overcome the “been there, done that” factor, as it can’t find anything new to say. Essentially a coming of age tale with Notting Hill overtones, the movie ends up drowned in its general package of clichés.
You name the genre trope and you’ll find it here. Not a single original concept manifests across the movie’s two hours, so expect a load of predictable character moments and plot points.
I’d mind these issues less if Finding came with a shorter running time. As it stands, the film butts up against the two-hour mark, and it simply lacks the content to fill that time in a satisfying manner.
This means that rather than focus on the Finley/Beckett relationship like it should, Finding dabbles in a mix of other topics. We deal with a mystery Finley attempts to unravel as well as Finley’s class assignment to get to know an elderly woman (Vanessa Redgrave), interactions with her Irish host family and with a drunk local (Patrick Bergin) who coincidentally happens to possess amazing musical skills.
Most of these come across like filler, and they create a story that proceeds at a slower pace than necessary. A few minor detours would feel fine, but a lot of the time, the main Finley/Beckett situation comes across as a side dish, not the main course.
As such, Finding can become scattered and disjointed. Occasionally it digs into the subject matter reasonably well, but too much of the time, it fails to find a consistent pulse.
At least the actors try to elevate the material. Reid and Goodacre manage decent chemistry, and Redgrave manages to bring spark to her trite role as the bitter old lady.
Despite its flaws, Finding You doesn’t turn into a total dud, as the cast and a few themes manage passable engagement. However, too much of it seems cliché and derivative.