“Finding You” feels tailor-made for teens looking for a date night movie. This tame coming-of-age romance, written and directed by Brian Baugh, is based on the 2011 young adult novel “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones. The material is easily adapted to the screen with the help of the story’s setting: the lush, green, rolling hills of the Irish countryside. The problem is that I found myself wishing for more of the scenery and less of the inspirational romantic drivel.
Finley (Rose Reid) is a talented violinist, but she just tanked at her audition for a prestigious New York music conservatory. Dejected, she decides to travel to a coastal village in Ireland to study abroad for a semester. While settled in for a long flight, she chats with a handsome but annoying stranger in the seat next to her. Finley is shocked when she realizes he’s none other than Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), a teen idol movie star who is headed to the UK to film a big-budget fantasy film.
Going into more details about the plot is absolutely pointless, because anyone who has ever read a romance novel or watched a rom-com will know exactly what unfolds. Finley’s host family runs the nicest B&B in town, and of course the charming heartthrob is a guest at the inn. While at first Beckett and Finley seem like oil and vinegar, sparks ignite between the pair as they begin to spend more time together, and a deeper relationship blossoms.
It’s okay if you want to insert a big eye roll here. It gets worse.
Finley has a dark secret that has been holding her back from creating the most expressive form of music she can, and Beckett is tired of making pointless sequels instead of chasing his true passions. The two help each other discover the strength to live life according to their dreams, and not how others say they should. It’s a coming-of-age story about finding yourself that’s wrapped up in a mild romance tale.
Everything about this movie screams formulaic romance novel, from the heavily-outlined scenarios to the names of the lead characters, to the too-predictable plot points and dreamy, idyllic international setting. Little you’d expect to see in a love story has been left out, and there’s an overpowering amount of sentimentality and contrivance that suffocates the better parts of the film.
“Finding You” isn’t a bad movie as far as romances go, but it’s too vanilla to leave a lasting impression.