Waiting for Forever

18 May

Title: Waiting for Forever
Year: 
2011
Director: 
James Keach
Writer: Steve Adams
Starring: 
Rachel Bilson, Tom Sturridge, Jaime King, Nikki Blonsky, Scott Mechlowicz, Blythe Danner, Roz Ryan, Richard Jenkins
MPAA Rating: 
PG-13, some violent content, brief language and thematic material
Runtime: 
94 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
6.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 
6%

The world needs as much of Rachel Bilson as it can get. I’ve been backing that statement ever since The O.C. ended in 2007 because I believe Ms. Bilson is one of the most charming and beautiful actresses around, and she needs her big break that can catapult her to stardom. And as such I’ve been embracing the chances we’ve gotten to see her since that show ended four years ago, as few as they may have been, relishing her appearance in those two episodes of Chuck as Lou, a character which I think every Chuck fan, even those most ardent Chuck-Sarah fans, fell in love with instantly.

Then she was in Jumper, which I guess was her big shot at that big break, a film with a big budget and heavy promotion directed by Doug Liman. But that just wasn’t to be, Jumper was just seriously uneven and the only crappy film that Doug Liman has made happened to be the one in which Ms. Bilson starred in, tough luck. And after that there’s hasn’t been much going on for her, she starred in Wen Jiang’s short of the New York, I Love You compilation of shorts, and had an incredibly memorable role as Cindy in How I Met Your Mother but that only lasted for two episodes. But now she gets another lead role in a film with Waiting for Forever, and she probably would’ve been better off not doing this in the first place.

Waiting for Forever is honestly pretty crappy, and I’ll give it a passing grade only because Ms. Bilson can make any movie more than bearable. This one gets kind of creepy at times, as the film tries to get their own spin on the  fairytale genre, with this guy that’s pretty much a bum totally in love with his childhood sweetheart but not being able to muster up the balls to talk to her and instead just pretty much shadowing her in the hopes of one day being able to romance her. But it all just comes off ridiculously creepy for most of it and the film falls flat on its face.

I mean, we know what they were trying to do with Will, the guy in question, they were trying to make him seem like this quirky and awkward street-performing guy, but I mean, there are few words to describe just how bad the script and the actor who plays him, Tom Sturridge, fail on every single criteria required. Though to be honest Mr. Sturridge was helpless with a role like this. Will comes off as a creep many times, as guy that’s impossible to really care for in this film or understand the reasons behind what he does, and as such he doesn’t give Waiting for Forever a fighting chance to working, not even when he’s playing off Rachel Bilson.

That’s my main problem with Waiting for Forever, that it somehow managed to make its main character a guy who’s terribly hard to like but very easy to get irritated with, as Will’s shtick never gets to be cute, not even in the most awkward of ways, and you just can’t help but hate just how much he acts as a kid who can’t face reality. It’s like he’s stuck in his childhood, which is when he met Emma, Ms. Bilson’s character, but she outgrew him and moved out of the city, and they lost touch, but he always seemingly tracked her down, and now she’s back to their hometown where they first became friends and she helped him get over the death of his parents. But I mean, she came back home to help care for her dying father and be of support to her mom, it’s not like this is the ideal romantic backdrop you want in a movie.

Not to mention that Emma really isn’t all that great. I mean, yes, the girl’s beautiful because Ms. Bilson is playing her, but she’s not the girl you’d go literally crazy about at all, but at least the fact that she’s played by Ms. Bilson makes the attraction to her a bit more believable because she always has this inherent charm about her that automatically translates to all her characters. This film is just painfully badly written by Steve Adams, who’s last writing gig had been the 2004 effort Envy which was pretty much every bit as bad as this film is, if not worse. I mean, we get the character of Jim, Will’s brother, who pops up now and then to tell his brother his fixation with this girl is starting to look crazy, and in any film of this kind Jim would be the character you hated because he’s trying to mess things up for Emma and Will, but in Waiting for Forever Jim is the guy we really like because he’s the only one making any sense.

Everything goes wrong here, the direction is pretty crappy, as the film actually uses Emma’s father terminal illness to get some jokes, and the moment when Emma and Will finally reconnect is pretty uncomfortable to watch. Blythe Danner and Richard Jenkins star as Emma’s parents, and they’re two people I like and admire, but not even they can make something decent out of this material. Waiting for Forever tried to be a different romantic comedy than the ones we usually get, and it was, but just not in a good way, as it somehow managed to succumb to lesser levels than those imposed by conventional rom-coms. And god bless Rachel Bilson for providing at least a few bright spots in this film, but not even she could save this one. But, hey, her CW pilot, Hart of Dixie, was just picked up today, and that series was created by Josh Schwartz who gave Ms. Bilson her role in The O.C. and her guest sting in Chuck, so at least we can rest assured that come September we’ll get a much-needed weekly dosage of Ms. Bilson provided by a guy who really knows how to make her shine.

Grade: C-

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