Entertainment

Dissecting ‘She Came to Me’: A Lackluster Romance Comedy with A-List Cast

Rebecca Miller’s film, She Came to Me  falls short as a romantic comedy despite its talented cast. The characters lack depth, the situations feel forced, and the film lacks the humor and rhythm expected in the genre. It disappoints, especially considering Miller’s previous success with “Maggie’s Plan.”

Steven Lauddem, portrayed by Peter Dinklage, is an opera composer grappling with severe anxiety and a stubborn case of writer’s block. After a profound breakdown and a period of intense depression, he tied the knot with his therapist, Patricia, played by Anne Hathaway. Together, they reside in an upscale Brooklyn brownstone, sharing their home with Patricia’s 18-year-old son from a prior marriage, Julian, portrayed by Evan Ellison.

She Came to Me

One day, She Came to Me Patricia encourages Steven to go for a walk, during which he encounters Katrina, portrayed by Marisa Tomei, in a bar as early as 11:00 am. Intrigued by her, Steven joins her aboard her tugboat. Katrina, a tugboat captain, is drawn to romance and intimacy, and she seduces Steven. This encounter leaves a significant impression on him, inspiring him to create an opera centered around Katrina and their experience.

In another subplot, Patricia decides to give away her possessions and expresses a desire to become a nun.

She Came to Me weaves these characters and storylines together but struggles to make them engaging. Steven finds fault with the opera performer cast as the character inspired by Katrina, criticizing her inability to convey the appropriate “sunny deadpan” style for a character portraying a deranged murderer. Strangely, he fails to recognize that the story is based on someone he knows. While the film may strive for absurdity, it ultimately falls short of delivering genuine amusement.

The film is replete with such awkward and contrived moments. During a dinner where Julian meets Trey, Trey insists that Julian read the newspaper aloud rapidly to showcase his stenography skills. This scene appears to be crafted to hint at Trey’s legal knowledge, setting the stage for his later intention to charge Julian with a crime. In Katrina’s storyline, she relocates to New York and desires to be with Steven, believing herself to be his muse. However, Steven initially rejects her until he requires a favor involving her tugboat, which interconnects several plot threads and characters.

“She Came to Me” does manage to salvage a nice moment late in the film when a group of characters share a sense of camaraderie. Additionally, scenes from Steven’s operas, including one involving aliens, are creatively staged. However, these minor joys are sparse and infrequent. One significant issue with the film is its lack of insight into love or relationships, making it challenging for viewers to become emotionally invested in the characters as they navigate their couplings and uncouplings.

Patricia’s obsession with the church and her desire to become a nun conveniently provides Steven with an easy escape to be with Katrina if he so desires. She Came to Me Trey, portrayed as an inflexible and racist character, makes Magdalena and Tereza’s scheme to leave him (allowing Tereza to be with Julian legally) only mildly satisfying. The central young couple repeatedly profess their love for each other, but it comes across as more convenient than convincing.

While Peter Dinklage is always a delight to watch, especially in his melancholic moments, this role doesn’t demand much more from him than that. She Came to Me A scene where he candidly discusses his desire to have been a better stepfather to Julian offers a nice moment, but the emotional payoff feels unearned due to the lack of context. Anne Hathaway, who also produced the film, maintains her radiant presence throughout, even when the film portrays her in a nun’s habit as part of an unfunny joke punchline.

However, She Came to Me delivers her weakest performance in an embarrassing scene where Patricia, while stripping off her clothes, recounts a story to a patient who dreams of her in the nude. Marisa Tomei injects some allure into her portrayal of Katrina, but as she discusses becoming addicted to sex from watching romantic movies, viewers may indeed be tempted to join her on that tugboat in search of a better, more romantic film than this lackluster dud.

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