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Karine Vanasse and Rossif Sutherland in a scene from "I'm Yours"

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2 out of 4 stars

Country
USA
Language
English

Leonard Farlinger's I'm Yours, in the romantic-comedy tradition of It Happened One Night, follows an ill-matched couple who find themselves on a road trip. Where the tradition calls for erotic tension, unusual predicaments and the discovery of love, I'm Yours attempts to recapitulate the form with some grown-up pessimism.

Thus, amidst the usual business of stalled vehicles, shared motel rooms and encounters with adorable rubes, characters worry about the universe expanding, that "the foundations of society have collapsed" or "that I've been making all the wrong choices. Or that we have no choices."

No wonder our story starts off at a bar. Wall Street trader Robert (Rossif Sutherland) is approaching his 30th birthday and suffering the pangs of a recently broken heart. His cynical older mentor, Phil (Don McKellar), who believes heartily in the meaningless of existence, urges his young buddy to get laid and forget his troubles.

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Sure enough, Robert soon sees a pretty single woman, Daphne (Karine Vanasse), and makes an awkward play for her. Unexpectedly, she responds and soon the two are off for a night of drunk-and-drugged motel-room sex. In the morning, Robert wakes in the passenger seat of his car. It turns out Daphne discovered, while Robert slept, that he had a valise full of cash. Seizing an opportunity, she shipped the bag by bus to her North Bay home and decided to kidnap him as her pretend fiancé to meet her parents.

It's not so much that Robert and Daphne don't have things in common (poor impulse control, larceny, alcohol), but none of them spell romance or comedy. The actors, to some degree, remain interesting in their contrasting styles. Sutherland, who is big and boyish, tends to mumble and react slowly. Vanasse ( Polytechnique, Pan Am) is darting and coquettish. Neither character seems provided with convincing motivations, and despite their good looks, neither character seems particularly appealing.

Only briefly, in the film's final act, are we given a glimpse of Daphne's unhappy background, with Nicholas Campbell as her uncommunicative, cold-eyed father and Marie Helene Fontaine as her nervous, hovering mother. But it's only a glimpse before the plot collapses into a fairy-tale ending that is offered as an odd remedy for the characters' facile defeatism.

I'm Yours

  • Written and directed by Leonard Farlinger
  • Starring Rossif Sutherland and Karine Vanasse
  • Classification: 14A
  • 2 stars


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