Finding You [2021] (Movie Review)

Finding You (2021) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Finley Sinclair didn’t pass the audition to be accepted into the music school that she’s always dreamed of attending. Thus, Finley decides to take a semester of school abroad, heading to Ireland where her brother spent some of his final days on earth. Along the way, Finley gets tied up with a famous movie star who’s tired of his fake life. Will they be able to discover what they are looking for?

Production Quality (2 points)

Per usual for Brian Baugh, the production of Finding You is very professional. This includes good video quality, camera work, and audio quality. The soundtrack is engaging, and sets, locations, and props are up to industry standards. The only drawback to this section is the significantly choppy editing that detracts from the viewing experience. Nonetheless, this section still receives an above-average rating.

Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)

With a reliable track record, it’s evident that Brian Baugh will likely never produce a bad film due to his commitment to strong characters. Finding You is no exception to this rule, even if the characters in this narrative outshine the meandering plot. Despite strong dialogue and character development, the characters are tossed along by silly coincidences and somewhat lazy storytelling. Voice and expository conversations are used to fill gaps in the narrative as several disconnected subplots are crammed into the same movie. The writers needed to pick a lane and decide what this screenplay is actually about: a simple love story with some creative riffs and satirical treatment of cheesy films or an exploration of a mysterious elderly woman’s past. By trying to two both things at once, the story became very muddled, lacking clear purpose and focus, which led to a rushed conclusion. Nonetheless, the characters are strong enough to keep this aspect of the movie above par.

Acting Quality (2 points)

As a whole, the cast members in Finding You are mostly acceptable in their roles. Rose Reid was in her comfort zone, by Jedidiah Goodacre seemed to lack range, posting some moments of unsure emotions. At times, line delivery from various actors and actresses was a bit off, but all performances were overall good enough to justify a score just above the middle line.

Conclusion

It’s encouraging that Brian Baugh is applying his directorial talents to novels, which is an absolute necessity as the Christian entertainment field is undergoing a major transition. However, the book that was chosen for this screenplay adaptation did not have a very sizeable audience. Baugh certainly has more potential than is seen in Finding You, so hopefully, in the near future, he’ll be afforded the chance to adapt a better novel.

Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points

Matchmaker Mary (Movie Review)

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Plot Summary

Join Mary and her happen-chance band of friends in a heartwarming (?) journey of taking care of puppies and forcing people to hang out with each other.  Watch as she inserts herself into the private lives of people in order to coerce them into liking each other.  With her parents unstable and fighting at home, Mary ventures out to spread her cheer elsewhere, hoping to project her insecurities on helpless loners who never asked for her help.  She collaborates with her unusual aunt, who has taught her how to meddle in other people’s business, but little do all of them know that by the time this movie is over—if you make it that far—everyone will have a match of their own!

 

Production Quality (-1 points)

If you can’t tell by now, we didn’t particularly like this so-called Christian movie.  It could have joined a host of other movies like it on the Hallmark or Ion channels, but the production is so bad that there’s no way it would have been picked up or aired.  Hallmark and Ion still have production standards, believe it or not.  Matchmaker Mary was likely filmed with a camcorder at the local pet store and the surrounding areas.  The video is grainy, the sound terrible, and the camera work shaky.  The musical score is childish.  There’s really no care taken to even make this film watchable on a surface level.  This begs the question—why was it even made?

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

It’s perfectly understandable and commendable to portray a movie about a grade school girl who is having to deal with her parents’ strained relationship—this happens far too often and needs to be exposed.  However, where are the mentions of Mary going to God with her problems?  Rather than bury herself in puppies and busybodying around, a Christian message needed to be introduced here, if this movie is meant to be Christian.  At this rate, we’re not sure.  We’re also not sure why PureFlix even distributed it, but at this point, we’re not really surprised at anything they do anymore.  There are too many head-scratching moments in Matchmaker Mary to count.  Characters say odd things in out of place ways, situations are trumped up, and the entire premise of the plot is completely absurd.  If this film is trying to be ridiculous, it succeeded.

Acting Quality (-1 points)

As previously alluded to, the actors and actresses behave in generally strange ways that cannot really be explained or described.  It’s almost like they were instructed to act off the wall.  If they were not, then we really don’t know what to think.  But that pretty much describes our entire experience watching this movie.

Conclusion

This is the state of American society—movies like Matchmaker Mary are funded and distributed while it is likely that many other well-meaning and under-funded geniuses struggle to survive in the movie world because they simply don’t know the right people.  In reality, people don’t really repair and build real relationships on the basis of puppies.  We don’t need any more movies that contribute to unrealistic fantasies that already permeate our culture.  Films like this are best forgotten and buried under the memories of better movies watched and better movies still to come.

 

Final Rating: -3 out of 10 points