Certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Member of the Houston Film Critics Society. Also writes for Bounding Into Comics and GeeksHaveGame.
Directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, Finding Neverland) with a screenplay written by Forster and Sean Conway (co-executive producer of Ray Donovan and whose only other screenwriting credit is a 2010 film called The Orgasm Diaries), All I See is You is a generic love story set in Bangkok, Thailand and revolves around the relationship between wife Gina (Blake Lively) and husband James (Jason Clarke). After a car accident took Gina’s sight, the married couple has grown accustomed to Gina being blind and James taking care of her despite having a full time job. An optic surgery gives Gina the opportunity to see again, but Gina’s restored vision seems to only observe the negatives regarding her marriage, her living situation, and her future.
An Uneventful Bucket of Dog Turds
The entirety of All I See Is You is unappealing sex and blurry vision. There, I've just saved you two hours of your valuable time. The first half-hour or so of this horrible cliché romance presented as a psychological drama is borderline fascinating. The film opens with a surreal sex scene that seems to borrow from the calmer and more intimate moments of Antichrist. The film does an impeccable job of portraying to the audience how Gina sees. The world is a murky place as we attempt to see from her eyes. Nothing is a clear picture as everyone she passes by seems to be hiding behind a thick cloud of fog. There are several shots where we are looking at Gina through a fish tank, which seems to be a blatant metaphor. Meanwhile, things Gina hears are presented almost sensually with close-ups of her lips as she wraps her mouth around a lit cigarette, the sound of wine as it’s poured into a glass, and her allowing her cane to take center stage as it squeals against the corner of a cement wall. There’s an importance of feet as they walk or stumble around drunkenly for some reason, as well. These unusual camera angles seem to be purposely disorienting and in a way, the audience gets to walk in Gina’s shoes for a short period of time.
However, All I See Is You uses this technique far too often. There’s too much of an emphasis on what Gina sees and how she sees it. The film wanders aimlessly with nowhere to go. The first thing Gina does after getting back half of her eyesight is to go sightseeing in other countries, which seems slightly cruel since she can only see out of one eye. And when Gina isn’t having sex with her husband, she’s trying kinky things with James and failing or going to incredibly awkward sex shows with her sister. Her sister’s husband is the most bizarre character in the film. He’s this artist who likes to paint things naked while making these life-sized and well-endowed paper mache statues. He tells James about how great anal sex is at the dinner table in front of both of their wives and then shows up in a dress later while singing about the little mermaid. Needless to say, he's the most entertaining aspect of the entire film.
Where's the Logic?
Nothing is resolved in All I See Is You and no action seems to have any reasoning behind it other than the fact that Gina can sort of see now and life is different because of it. James is seriously a jerk by allowing Gina to feel lost in a nightclub even though he’s only just out of arms reach while she’s calling out repeatedly for him. Then there’s whatever is going on with her eye drops. Did somebody tamper with them or did Gina merely stop taking them? About halfway through the film, Gina suddenly becomes obsessed with an old dog that would have been put down by its previous owner. The dog merely complicates things further by covering the married couple's apartment in urine and feces and overheating long enough for Gina to find something else to put in her overused hole.
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Nothing happens in All I See Is You. A married couple lives their boring life and average events occur, which they blow out of proportion, yell about it, screw, throw dog poop around, and do it all over again the following day. The film is one life-altering procedure jammed into one ugly, bloated and cellulite-heavy existence that is otherwise similar to everybody else. The film tries so hard to be something that it isn't and instead slams face-first into a wall composed of the blandest nonsense imaginable. Countless sex scenes are utilized in an effort to push the story along while what is potentially gorgeous cinematography with a unique perspective is ruined overall by the fact that it’s repeated over and over again until its alluring qualities fade away like Gina’s pirate vision. Marc Forster and Sean Conway are trying to say something about a couple not being able to get pregnant, singing about what makes you happy, and seeing things that aren’t there since you’ve been blind for however many years, but what you get is this tedious bore of a film that aimlessly wanders with no specific destination in mind. All I See Is You is nothing more than an uneventful bucket of dog turds and sexual buffoonery.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Chris Sawin
Chris Sawin (author) from Houston, TX on September 18, 2018:
So I typically like to write whatever comes to mind after viewing a film. Capturing how I felt during the film and documenting that is important to me. If I dislike a film to a great extent I go with those thoughts and feelings and generally attempt to inject humor into my written work. If that came off as insensitive and offended you in some capacity, I deeply apologize.
But at the same time do you think you're giving the film a pass because you relate to Gina's experience in the film? The film completely bombed at the box office as it holds a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes with a 33% audience score and a 43 on Metacritic. There's nothing wrong with finding something in a film that others don't. I adore Chappie despite it being littered with redundant cliche's of sci-fi and Neill Blomkamp's previous films. I also tend to find more meaning with films about depression and the difficulties about writing or being an author. Our personal experiences and differing tastes are often what make lesser films more significant.
If I'm rambling, I do apologize. I'm not sorry for my review of this film because my feelings for it remain the same. I may have been too harsh on it, but I feel like it wasn't really worth seeking out. I do find it fascinating that you found so much in it though. It's unfortunate that you view me as unprofessional, but I do understand to a certain extent. Thanks for reading and hopefully we can agree on something down the line if you continue to keep up with my work.