A misguided dramedy that comes to negativity.
“She Came to Me” starts off with a decent premise between Peter Dinklage and Marisa Tomei, and then explodes with various problems within the screenplay. And I’m saying it in critical and pathos terms.
You have a concept in which a one-night stand turns into some kind of obsession, and then you get a series of troubles that make this comical would-be romance beneficial. The way they all handle them is like someone putting random things in a blender to try to make your Bloody Mary drinks spicy. It ends up tasting sour. And that’s not delicious. But then again, I don’t drink Bloody Maries, so what do I know?
Dinklage plays a Brooklyn opera composer named Steven Lauddem, who is suffering from writer’s block. At a local bar, he comes across a tugboat captain named Katrina (Tomei), who gives him a tour of her family boat. She’s become such a romantic addict that she has been arrested for stalking. And after a one-night stand, he gets a premonition on his latest and greatest masterpiece: an opera about a tugboat captain who lures and murders men.
The show becomes celebrated by the audience. However, when Katrina sees the show, she confronts Steven for leaving, and has him by the balls by being Brooklyn-based. It’d be enough for him to file a restraining order against her, but he wouldn’t want his psychiatrist wife Patricia (Anne Hathaway) to find out.
But Katrina eventually helps Steven with a little problem.
In a stressful and unnecessary subplot, Patricia has a racial teenage son from a previous marriage named Julian (Evan Ellison), who is dating her Polish housekeeper Magdalena’s (Joanna Kulig from “Ida” and “Cold War”) daughter Tereza (Harlow Jane). The tension thickens when the housekeeper and her court reporter husband (Brian D’Arcy James) both discover naked pictures of the two young lovers, especially since Julian is 18 and the Tereza is 16.
And since this would be considered stationary rape, the jerk threatens to press charges on the boy, which is why the youngsters decide to legally marry in Delaware. That’s when Steven arranges help from Katrina.
And in a minor, underdeveloped story, Patricia decides to step down from her occupation to become a nun.
“She Came to Me” was written and directed by Rebecca Miller, whose credits include “Proof” and “Maggie’s Plan.” I was expecting the film to have an artistic complexion, especially when the main character is struggling to rediscover his tune. Dinklage does a solid job in that notion, and more of his conflicts with the Tomei character would have been more interesting, but his story gets dragged down by these aggravating subplots.
I feel like I’m watching the first part of a movie, and then someone edited a different movie in the second half. I can’t read these supporting characters or acknowledge the decisions here. I’m not sure what the message of this movie is, or if there is supposed to be one.
“She Came to Me” should have gotten another pass on the typewriter, computer, or whatever screenwriters use these days to write their flicks. Literature comes in all formats, and not everyone uses laptops, so I respect that. But that’s beside the point. The point is this movie sucks.
This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA strike.