|Original title:||She came to me|
|Running time:||102 minutes|
|Release date:||29 september 2023|
Rebecca Miller's She Came to Me ventures into the realm of romantic comedies with the ambition of redefining the genre. In a landscape dominated by bombastic action comedies and blockbusters, Rebecca Miller's film breathes new life into the romantic comedy formula by combining irreverence with social commentary. The heart of the story revolves around an opera composer named Steven Loudden (Peter Dinklage) and his intriguing encounter with enigmatic tugboat driver Katrina (Marisa Tomei). This encounter sparks both creative inspiration and romantic turmoil, ultimately leading Steven to compose an opera entitled She Came to Me, which uncomfortably approximates his own personal life.
While the film strives to interweave humor and social commentary, it struggles at times, despite its best efforts, to maintain a consistent tone throughout. Miller's direction struggles with the multiple threads of the story, resulting in moments of genuine humor and attempts at deep introspection that often seem disjointed. Peter Dinklage plays Steven subtly and vulnerably, but the character's passivity detracts from the emotional impact. Marisa Tomei shines as Katrina, infusing her character with authenticity and charm, while Anne Hathaway's performance as Patricia, a therapist turned neurotic wife, offers both comic bursts and moments of melancholy.
The film's lead actors, Peter Dinklage and Marisa Tomei, infuse their characters with genuine charm and connection. Dinklage's portrayal of composer Steven and his interaction with Katrina, the enigmatic tugboat captain played by Tomei, offer a whimsical and eccentric depiction of love. Anne Hathaway's transformative performance as Patricia adds layers to the exploration of authenticity and self-discovery, offering a refreshing change from typical romantic comedy roles.
The subplot involving Patricia's son Julian (Evan Ellison) and his romance with Tereza (Harlow Jane), which attempts to address themes of race, class and conservatism, is a misstep. However, this subplot comes across as forced and sometimes preachy, failing to achieve the nuanced exploration it aims for.
She Came to Me nevertheless finds its authentic voice, oscillating between zany comedy and societal reflection. The tonal incoherence at times hinders the audience's emotional connection with the characters and their journey. Despite an ensemble of talented actors, the uneven script and direction prevent the film from reaching its very high potential. Although it offers glimpses of wit and charm, the film fails to stand out in a genre in need of innovative depth.
She came to me
Written and directed by Rebecca Miller
Produced by Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, Rebecca Miller, Damon Cardasis, Anne Hathaway
Starring Peter Dinklage, Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig, Brian d'Arcy James, Anne Hathaway, Harlow Jane, Evan Ellison
Cinematography : Sam Levy
Edited by Sabine Hoffman
Music by Bryce Dessner
Production companies : Protagonist Pictures, Killer Films, AI Film, Round Films
Distributed by Vertical Entertainment
Release dates : February 16, 2023 (Berlinale), September 29, 2023 (United States)
Running time : 102 minutes
Seen on August 30 2023 (press screener)