Film & TV

Breathe In a Star-Crossed Romance Starring Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan

Drake Doremus' Breathe In is a star-crossed romance where your enjoyment level will depend upon your tolerance for what feels an awful lot like potential statutory rape. A toothsome exchange student named Sophie (Felicity Jones) comes to stay with a well-to-do family in upstate New York, triggering a barely dormant midlife crisis in high school music teacher Keith (Guy Pearce), which does not go unnoticed by his wife, Megan (Amy Ryan), or their daughter, Lauren (Mackenzie Davis, who has an appealingly Laura Dern-esque vulnerability). Sophie is enigmatic at best, and it's difficult to tell exactly what Keith sees in her other than her nubility; while it's established in passing that she recently turned 18 and thus is above the age of consent, the fact that there's a nearly 30-year age difference between the two makes it difficult at best to be swept away by the forbidden-love angle. (Maybe that accounts for why Breathe In is shot like a Twilight movie, particularly the scenes at the high school.) Not that May-December romances can't be compelling, but it's hard to root for a guy in his 40s to find the courage to make time with a barely legal girl, no matter how dissatisfied he is with his life. Some choices are not OK.
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Sherilyn Connelly is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.