DVD Movie Review: All I See Is You

By Thom Compton 12.03.2018

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All I See is You (UK Rating: 15)

Blake Lively (The Shallows, The Age of Adaline, Gossip Girl) stars as Gina, a woman blinded in a terrible car accident as a child. Her husband, James (played by Jason Clarke - Everest, Zero Dark Thirty) is everything a girl could ask for if she picked her list of needs out of a hat labelled "Traits for a RomCom hero." He's sweet, compassionate, understanding, and an all-round good guy. At least that's how it seems. It's only after getting a surgery that gives her a good portion of her sight back that it becomes clear James, and Gina, have some very obvious faults. What humans don't, after all? Sadly, these faults swing so widely that they show up with all the subtly and grace of running over a metal baseball bat with a lawnmower. Out on digital release on 26 February first, and now on DVD as of 5 March, All I See is You is available via Signature Entertainment.

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Sex is an obvious theme in the film, but it's never really clear why. Perhaps being able to see opens up the libido in fascinating new ways, but All I See is You doesn't even try to acknowledge them in any way that's meaningful. After a trip to visit her sister, Gina appears to have flipped into being sexually ferocious. When she was blind, she was meek and shy. Now, she acts ostentatiously, obsessed with the grittier parts of an act her and her husband seemed to be quite passionate about.

James, on the other hand, becomes a paranoid mess. Mind you, he isn't always there to witness his wife's sudden obsession with intercourse, making a lot of his paranoia based on one person's weirdly timed question: "Now that she can see, are you worried she'll leave you for someone better looking?" It sounds more menacing then it really is, though, as, in context, the question is just one guy poking fun at another guy… and to Gina's credit, her obsession with sex isn't even something James should need to worry about, since she seems to aim it at him for the most part, only to be rejected.

This showcases the big problem here. This marriage was a mess before Gina could see. However, because she depended on him, it was a complacent marriage where he gave her whatever she needed to feel okay, and she in turn depended on him. The ability to see only made them both swing into their real feelings with a profound intensity. This could easily have been interesting, but the film is shot like a techno music video, and the juxtaposition between the intensity of the film and the subject matter at hand is baffling. In short, a film about a marriage falling apart due to one person's disability being lifted shouldn't feel like a Depeche Mode video cut together with pornography.

The viewer is often given the chance to look through Gina's eyes, both blind and not. A haze of colours, with the occasional pouting lip to signify someone in front of her is talking, comes off goofy and very public access CGI. Even when she can see, everyone walking towards Gina looks animated and unrealistic. The best segments are when Gina's in the pool, and it appears as though she is swimming in the middle of the ocean. It does a decent job showcasing how the pool feels to her, like a deep, endless void. However, a handful of the shots end up feeling ridiculous, and purposelessly artsy. It results in them feeling unintentionally silly.

That's the problem with All I See Is You. It wants so badly to be both a serious drama and an artistic exploration of sex and the effect that gaining a new sense could have. What it comes off as is too immature to handle a lot of its subject matter properly. Many of the sex scenes are remarkably pointless, as though the camera were being handled by a 13-year-old boy lost in Prague's sleaziest brothel. James is an awful character, as it's clear that he regrets giving his wife the ability to see almost seconds after it happens; like it was all just to shut her up. Gina is the only likeable character in the whole movie, and even with her, there are moments where it's hard to tell if the audience should really like her, or if it's all just pity. Other characters include Gina's sister, who adds absolutely nothing to the story except a placeholder for her car accident, and her brother-in-law, who is apparently a weird European artist.

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Speaking of the car accident, it's absolutely mismanaged. It only comes up often enough to remind you why Gina is blind, and that's about it. Briefly, she goes to deal with it, but it doesn't seem to actually matter. It's a mere footnote lost amongst the weeds of a failing marriage, a poorly implemented disability, and sex scenes that ultimately mean nothing. By the time the 105 minutes between the opening and closing credits are up, All I See is You is a remarkably bad film, shot like it wanted to be so much more. Like it was bragging about all the cool French film terms it knew, but when it came time to point the camera at the actors, through sweat and tears, just pushed record and hoped for the best. More would definitely have been expected from director and writer, Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace).

Rated 3 out of 10


All I See is You is watchable, although occasionally disorienting. That's not enough, though, as it ends up being a largely unlikeable character study of how a bad person and a suppressed person can lose everything by what should be the happiest moment of their lives up until then. If cinema history is anything to go on, blind people should never get the ability to see. What if the eye previously belonged to a serial killer and they start to see visions of death? What if their husband gets super paranoid and their marriage falls apart? …Or worse. What if they accidentally see this movie?

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