Rachel Bilson portrays Emma Twist, a woman at a crossroads. She is a Los Angeles actress whose hit show has recently been canceled. At that same moment, her father becomes deathly ill in Pennsylvania. The other end of the spectrum finds Sturridge's Will Donner. His parents were killed in a train accident when he was nine. Forced to move away from Emma, his mind locks in on a love that is not only unrequited but also completely unknown to the other half of the boy meets girl storyline.
When Rachel Bilson arrives home to attend to her father, almost directly behind her from Los Angeles is Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio). Eventually he builds the confidence to say hello to her as she walks down the street. Yes, you got it. He has been stalking her from Pennsylvania to Washington state to California as she went through college and made a name for herself in Hollywood.
In Rachel Bilson's performance, there are shades of a vulnerable character that she has never played previously. With a less-than-perfect script, she manages to make Waiting for Forever a promise of something that is not quite met.
Where a majority of the issues in the film exist is with Sturridge's character, although through no fault of the actor's.
Upon hearing that he has been following her for more than a decade, Bilson's character responds in a vehement storm of rage and disgust. It is in those moments that audiences catch the actress at her best. But also at that moment, Sturridge takes what is frankly a creepy turn in the story and manages to humanize it. Despite the film's faults, Bilson and Sturridge prove their mettle as actors by making palatable something that is not quite right.
Sturridge particularly stands out in a dramatic scene where he and his brother come to grips with what has divided them since their parents perished.
Waiting for Forever is a love story that misses the mark. At the beginning of our Waiting for Forever review, we used the word unfortunately to describe how the film falls flat. That choice of wording is no accident. The framework of a film featuring a boy who spends his life yearning for the girl he knew when he was nine -- only to find her and fall in love -- is as solid as they come. Regrettably as seen in Waiting for Forever, even with Bilson and Sturridge's ever-so-charming turns, this film paints a picture less of love than of unhealthy obsession.
We must report that the film's soundtrack is stellar. It is Reality Bites meets Singles multiplied by the Twilight Saga. Also brilliant are Bilson's onscreen parents played by Blythe Danner and Richard Jenkins. We'll take those two as anybody's parents in movies from this point forward.
Out of five stars...
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