Fox // 2011 // 99 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // June 2nd, 2011
Everyone has someone they can't forget.
James Keach's Waiting for Forever made a brief appearance in a few theaters earlier this year, but the film starring Tom Sturridge and Rachel Bilson failed to connect with critics and ended up struggling. No one really seemed to care. Can the romantic drama's release on Blu-ray change that?
Waiting for Forever introduces us to Will Donner, an eccentric street performer who's madly in love with Emma Twist, a struggling actress desperately trying to make it in Hollywood. Unfortunately for Will, he hasn't talked to Emma in years. Although the two used to be best friends during their childhood, things suddenly changed when Will had to move away after his parents died in a tragic train accident.
Will, however, never stopped loving his dear Emma. As soon as he was old enough to live on his own, he set out to follow her wherever she would go. That said, it's not until she returns home years later to check on her dying father that Will finds the courage to actually approach her to confess his love. Alas, Will is forced to realize that in reality, things don't always go as planned...
Waiting for Forever tries really hard to come across as a heartwarming fairy tale, but as much as I hate to say this, it simply doesn't succeed. I can see how this film could have had some potential on paper during early developmental stages, but as a finished product, it's loaded with annoying flaws that make it nearly impossible to fall in love with it. First and foremost, the story just doesn't flow right, and this is largely because it takes forever for Will and Emma to share their first scene together.
Essentially, the movie takes quite long to introduce viewers to every character in the film. While that is certainly admirable, it doesn't necessarily move along the story we should be caring about. We're also forced to fight our way through a bunch of backstory, and while it definitely helps build the central story, it sure could have been reduced a little. By the time Will makes contact with Emma, I found myself unable to care about either one of them.
Additionally, the so-called relationship between the two leads is a pretty tough one to fall in love with, especially because we don't get to see much intriguing interaction between them. Although Will has spent years following her every step across the country, he never approached her to have a chat. Why now? Why wait until she returns home to tend to her sick father? I may have missed something here, but some of these characters' decisions just seem a tad incoherent at times.
At times, it feels like Waiting for Forever doesn't really know where to go. Countless flashbacks add to the running time but add little to the story, a couple of unnecessary subplots do more damage than good to the credibility of the storyline, and truth be told, relationship between Will and Emma doesn't exactly take off either after they first run into each other. She and some other characters think he is nuts for "stalking" her all these years, while Will just keeps reminding her that all he did was trying to be close to the person he loves so much. Something doesn't sound right here, right?
I wish I could say I loved the performances in Waiting for Forever, but that wouldn't be true. While Bilson has a few solid moments giving her the opportunity to show off her acting talent, Sturridge seems to struggle with the portrayal of a crazy dude running after the girl of his dreams. Let's just say his delivery remains stiff throughout. The only one shining in every scene he's in is Richard Jenkins, who plays Emma's sarcastic dad. Then again, we're talking about an actor who pretty much always hits the right notes.
I give this to director James Keach though: he sure managed to deliver on great production values. The film's shot well and looks great, and anything from locations to costumes just fits the mood. On a similar note, I must applaud 20th Century Fox for giving the film a superb Blu-ray treatment. Presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, the movie boasts a clean image quality rich in colors and sharpness. Audio tracks are balanced fairly well too, so technically speaking, this DVD edition of Waiting for Forever has got it right. Special features though, are nowhere to be found.
Waiting for Forever tries to be cute, but fails miserably. It focuses on a young man who's definitely got a serious problem, but it treats his condition as something that's normal. You won't find much romance or humor in this thing, and even though the premise doesn't sound all too terrible, the finished film is infected with trouble. Keep waiting for a better movie.
Review content copyright © 2011 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13