It captures the essence of a chance encounter by two people that should have been given a chance at love in what feels like another life. It fully demonstrates the beauty of openness in the face of insecurity. It’s beautifully shot. It’s even got two talented fresh faces in it too.
So why is “Stuck Between Stations” a mediocre romance drama?
With haphazard editing, a sloppy script and cameo appearances by respected Hollywood stars the likes of Michael Imperioli and Josh Hartnett that serve as mere plot devices, this film could use a heck of a lot more polish.
Ultimately, it’s hard to not appreciate the solid lead performances in the film, but it’s just not enough.
While it’s a film that will remind you of the Sundance hit from 2010 “Blue Valentine,” it lacks the character-driven focus that made that film solid. We don’t know too much about Rebecca (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Casper (Sam Rosen, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film) and by the end of film, our opinion of the pair hasn’t changed enough to make us believe they can thrive with each other as much as they could with a psychiatrist.
Both of these characters are scarred emotionally and as badly as you see the sincerity in their words, they’re just too damaged for us to feel truly compassionate about them. That’s not to say that these two don’t deserve to be happy. Everything just feels too inorganic to be taken seriously, from the fight that occurs that is the catalyst for their night-long adventure to all the little stops along the way that bring them closer together. That, combined with the shoddy and emotionless performances from Hartnett, Imperioli and the rest of the supporting cast turn this romance with two solid young actors into a scoff-filled mess.
Regardless, it should be said that Lister-Jones and Rosen give intimate and emotional performances and do their best to make the film watchable. There are so many instances in the film where they almost steal the show with a simple look in each other’s eyes. Regardless of what you eventually think of this film, it’s hard to deny how talented they both are.
However, with a script that bounces around like a wild spaldeen, it’s hard to notice that unlike every other facet of this film, these two aren’t playing around.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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