JACKIE & RYAN (2015)


jackie & ryan Greetings again from the darkness. Complexity of characters, action sequences and plot twists are so common in movies these days that a simple story told in a straight-forward manner can catch us a bit off-guard. Such is the case with this latest from writer/director Ami Canaan Mann (Michael Mann’s daughter, and known for Texas Killing Fields).

A romantic drama usually leans heavily on the strength of its leads, and the teaming of Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes normally wouldn’t instill much hope. Don’t expect this one to linger in your thoughts much after you have left the theatre, but most will find it pleasant enough to watch … if for no other reason than the interesting songs written by Nick Hans and sung by Barnes. And yes, Heigl sings a bit too … but not much considering her character supposedly had a successful singing career in years gone by.

There is an air of familiarity to the story as Barnes plays a free-willed musician who travels by train and performs in the streets of the towns he visits. Circumstances occur that bring Barnes and Heigl together, and soon enough romance is in the air. Heigl and her daughter (Emily Alyn Lind) live with her mom (Sheryl Lee), and Barnes hangs around for awhile to fix the roof … and other things. Indie favorite Clea DuVall has a small role that adds a bit of interest, but mostly this one hinges on Barnes and Heigl.

If you are one of the many who have grown tired of Heigl’s big screen career, you might be a bit surprised here as she struggles to raise her daughter while going through a nasty divorce. Barnes has also done little (since his posturing in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) to lead up to his more gritty and somewhat likeable role. Again, not much here will stick, but it’s pleasant enough to watch.

watch the trailer:

 

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