Please don’t ask me to choose my favorite off-the-rails moment in “All I See Is You.” I have equal love for all of them!
Here’s a sample platter, which is by no means all-inclusive:
• During a bout of kinky sex, Blake Lively’s Gina asks her husband James (Jason Clarke) what he thinks about when he’s, um, alone. “You and only you,” he responds. “What about you?”
Let’s just say her response is the response no man ever wants to hear. It would be a hilarious comedic moment, except it’s not supposed to be funny.
• Gina’s sister Carol (Ahna O’Reilly) lives in Spain with her husband Ramon (Miguel Fernandez), who apparently is an artist of some sort. They’re all supposed to be getting ready to go out on the town, but first Ramon gets naked, covers himself in red paint, and then dons a shiny dress and tells his wife and his sister-in-law, in a high-pitched voice, he’s a little mermaid.
None of this has anything to do with the rest of the movie. It just … happens.
• Things are going sour in a major way for Gina and James, but they nevertheless go forward with moving into a new house. After the move, James returns to their apartment to scoop up a few last items. This is when he conveniently finds the one thing — THE ONE THING — that Gina must keep hidden from James at this point in the story.
Come on Gina! You’re not even trying.
• Gina gives guitar lessons to Lucy (Kaitlin Orem), a little girl who lives next door. Come the night of the big school pageant, Gina and Lucy start off by performing a duet — but then the camera zooms in on a close-up of Gina, who takes sole control of the vocals and sings a LONG passage that’s really about her and James. Unfortunately, we never pull back to see Lucy, who surely must be looking at Gina and thinking, “Hey, who’s the middle schooler here?”
If you’ve think I’ve given away too much, trust me — there’s so much more (less?) to “All I See Is You” than these random tidbits. Directed and co-written by the often-great Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “World War Z”), this is a visually arresting film with two attractive and charismatic lead actors, but it’s doomed by the melodramatic twists and turns, and the ridiculous behavior by nearly every major character.
Except the dogs and the fish. The dogs and the fish are all right.
Blake’s Gina has been blind since she was a little girl. She’s married to Clarke’s James, a big-time insurance exec. They live in Bangkok because that’s where James’ office is located, and also because it’s a huge and bustling and colorful metropolis, and thus a great setting for a movie about a blind woman who regains her sight.
Yep. That’s the deal. Gina gets a corneal transplant that restores her sight. (There’s no explanation given for why Gina had to wait more than 20 years for the operation. Or how Gina and James met. Or why she fell in love with this humorless, controlling, demanding boor, who comes home stinking drunk many nights.)
After Gina marvels at the colors of flowers and the sky and takes in James’ face (he looks different than she imagined), she seems most interested in visual stimuli of the sexual variety. She throws away her frumpy clothes, dyes her hair blonde, cakes on the makeup, flirts with a hunky guy from the local swimming pool and delights in watching other couples make love — first in a random moment, and then when she eagerly attends a live sex show while hubby James stews in the alley outside.
James doesn’t much care for the new Gina. He believes they were much happier when Gina was blind. Hmmm, perhaps there’s a way to return to those wonderful days.
What a guy.
“All I See Is You” assaults the senses with visual tricks designed to give us Gina’s viewpoint, whether she’s blind or she can see or her vision is somewhere in between. The score hammers home her state of mind, from confused to frightened to joyous to confused again.
But even when Gina’s vision is as clear as it’s ever going to be, apparently she can’t see she’s trapped in an absolutely ludicrous universe.
Open Road Films presents a film directed by Marc Foster and written by Foster, Craig Baumgarten, Michael Selby and Jillian Kugler. Rated R (for strong sexual content/nudity, and language). Running time: 110 minutes. Opens Friday at local theaters.