"Which Brings Me to You" is a romantic comedy that offers a more mature and honest look at relationships.
The film explores the complexity of relationships, showcasing that there are no clear protagonists or antagonists.
The lead characters, Will and Jane, elicit both compassion and frustration from viewers as their actions become clearer.
Romantic comedies and predictability fit like glove, as each film features non-negotiable tropes and occurrences. Peter Hutchings’ Which Brings Me to You, which is based on the novel by Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott, boasts an inevitability that everyone sees coming from a mile away, but it’s also a more mature look at the messy nature of relationships. The lead characters expose an unfiltered humanity and honesty about themselves that isn’t always found in the genre.
Which Brings Me to You follows the story of Will (Nat Wolff) and Jane (Lucy Hale) who meet at a mutual friend’s wedding. After a proposed romantic rendezvous in the cloakroom doesn’t go as expected, the pair begin to open up about their past relationships. However, their walk down memory lane isn’t as cathartic as they think it will be. They claw open at old wounds – some of which they are to blame for themselves.
Not a typical romcom narrative
It isn’t unusual to see romantic comedies showcase the bad relationships the main couple had to suffer through before finding each other. It’s to drive home the message of how they had to go through the worst of times to find their one true love. Which Brings Me to You pulls a fast on the audience in this regard. In the early stages of the film, it plays out like a typical romcom with Will and Jane discussing their broken hearts and the people who did them wrong. However, as they delve deeper into their romantic history, they move beyond someone being right and someone being wrong. They showcase how relationships are complex, with each person having needs and wants that might be different from their partners.
Keith Bunin’s script captures this concept in a powerful way. The story doesn’t try to identify clear protagonists and antagonists to cheer and despise; instead, it chooses to demonstrate how everyone has the power to love or hurt someone they care for. Resultingly, Will and Jane elicit both equal parts compassion and infuriation from the viewers as their actions become clearer. They are three-dimensional characters that haven’t been static victims of what happened to them before, as they also played an active role in the good and bad moments of their lives.
Nat Wolff and Lucy Hale uncover the ugly truth
In Which Brings Me to You, Will and Jane’s previous relationships form a major part of the narrative, as the extended flashbacks showcase their stories with their former partners. For the actors, it’s challenging to execute since not only do Nat Wolff and Lucy Hale need to have a chemistry with each other’s characters but also the others from Will and Jane’s respective pasts. Both Wolff and Hale get this, understanding how each relationship comes with their characters being in different phases of their lives and wanting different things. For example, Will showcases an excitement to be around the older Eve (Genevieve Angelson), while Jane quietly settles for Mark (Ward Horton) when it’s clear he isn’t what she really wants.
Wolff and Hale’s characters evolve in front of the audience, as the peek into their pasts reveals more of what made them who they are in the present story. They bare their souls – warts and all – never shying away from the reality of being human. Unquestionably, Wolff and Hale elevate Which Brings Me to You through their raw, honest performances, as the whole film could have collapsed if the actors didn’t understand the subtle emotional nuances required and overall message of the story.
Is Which Brings Me to You worth watching?
Romcoms can be cheesier than a four-cheese pizza, and Which Brings Me to You doesn’t exactly avoid the mozzarella either. That said, it provides a much deeper look at matters of the heart and how no one is ever truly innocent when relationships wither. Relatable and poignant, the film forces the audience to also take stock of their own romantic pasts and realise there is hardly ever a clear-cut villain in these scenarios.
Which Brings Me To You
Two romantic burnouts are drawn to each other at a mutual friend's wedding. After a disastrous hookup in the coatroom, the two spend the next 24 hours together on the off chance that this fling might be the real thing.
Studio: BCDF Pictures, Anonymous Content, Three Point Capital (TPC)
Running Time: 1h 38min
Release Date: January 19, 2024
Cast: Lucy Hale, Nat Wolff, John Gallagher Jr.
Director: Peter Hutchings
Writers: Keith Bunin
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Which Brings Me To You
Which Brings Me To You doesn't avoid the cheese of romcoms but will effectively resonate with the audience, prompting them to reflect on their own romantic histories.
Sergio Pereira is a prolific and recognised journalist and writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. His expertise encompasses the topics of comic books, film, television, and video games. For over 16 years, he has built up his reputation and knowledge in entertainment journalism by writing for and learning from the world's largest publications.
Sergio is also an accredited Rotten Tomatoes reviewer and has interviewed numerous celebrities, such as Andy Serkis, Ben Barnes, Idris Elba, Letitia Wright and Frank Miller. He is the author of the highly rated fantasy comedy novel The Not-So-Grim Reaper and numerous short stories. In addition, he is the co-writer of the South African crime drama film The Lifesaver. As a regular columnist, he contributes to Looper, Grunge, Screen Rant, Ranker, CBR, SYFY WIRE, IGN Africa, Thought Catalog and Fortress of Solitude.
For Sergio, all he wants in life is to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eclipse the Justice League as the greatest heroes of all time. Then, he will sleep peacefully.