The movie cuts to the first of many flashbacks, marked by highlights and a blurry vignette. Five years ago (presumably 2014ish), Kenzie pitched to Tyler. They’ll do it a couple of times over the course of the film – she pitches, he bats, and they work out their angst. It’s not much, but it is a sports motif in a sports movie.
She bets him a kiss, and the corny orchestral music returns in conjunction with the bad flirting. It’s like watching the first movie all over again, but at least they aren’t whispering. Tyler hits a home run, and he doesn’t have to kiss her. The memory fades out, and Tyler shakes his head.
Tiffany’s story begins with a country song, and there’s no genre of music more appropriate for the events of her story. She’s running out of a church in a wedding dress – her narrative involves multiple characters hiding facts from one another, but deception becomes clumsy when characters only talk about the plot.
Her shoe comes off as she comes out of the church, though that will not matter one bit. No one will ever find it, bring it to her, or put it on her foot. Both of the men involved in her story know who she is. Why make an allusion to Cinderella if you can’t even be bothered to borrow some plot from it?
She runs to the only car in the parking lot of the church, and it’s deeply metaphorical. Running out from the house of the Lord and into the Mazda of temptation is the closest this film will get to expressing her characterization outside of declarative dialogue. The driver of the flawless Mazda is an attractive man who totally makes sense in his role. His performance is bland, but at least he looks like a guy a woman would ditch a fiance for.
He drives off and starts questioning her about her character and the plot. She’s Tiffany, he’s Chase, he’s not an Uber driver, she’s running away from a church. He’s being flirty with a woman who ran out of a church in a wedding dress, and she’s getting defensive about the plot.
This is the first scene to show the weakness of improvised dialogue – Tiffany gets in and says she wants to go “anywhere but here”. He asks her about the dress and her wedding, then she claims she went to the wrong church. She ends up getting out of the car after he yells at her, and then he’s really insistent that she get back in. The line between playful banter and absolute frustration is blurred in the performances. Watching two strangers fight sets a strange tone for what wants to become a passionate affair. Shouldn’t they have chemistry resulting from his sensitivity and sense of humor in a trying time? Imagine Matthew McConaughey berating Jennifer Lopez for her impractical footwear choices in The Wedding Planner. Who wants to root for characters who don’t appear comfortable together?
So much of this scene is shot like a car commercial. They used a pristine Mazda and did everything except having the characters talk about how much more they like it than comparable models and show MSRP.
It’s shot during the Golden Hour in hopes that someone may briefly confuse this with a Terrence Malick film, but all that will do is destroy the continuity between what’s happening off-screen and what’s being said to have happened.
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It cuts to the Mazda parked on a cliffside to watch the sun set. According to the dialogue in this scene, they picked up sandwiches, drove around at least a little looking for the right church (under false pretense), and then came up to this cliff-side. They’re talking about how the symbols in the movie are symbols – the color white and wedding dresses represent purity and perfection. Chase does not care one bit, so he changes the subject to exposition, and the sun has still not set. He’s kind of nice, she talks about her plot, she cries.
At the batting cages, Tyler is going to remind us that he’s an injured baseball player.
He swings the bat and rubs his shoulder. What is the injury? How did he get it? Who knows. Why is he batting if he’s terribly injured? His therapist wants to know that, too. She barges in to yell at him for hitting instead of sitting around “visualizing” getting better. Therapists are all about using your inner eye to heal your body instead of actual physical therapy. The movie pretends like this is some quirky character trait and not a dangerous medical practice. We have no idea where in his recovery he is, we don’t know what makes it better, we know nothing except that his trainer is too busy staring at him longingly to actually bother with any real information.
Brandon, Tyler’s best friend, decides to make an appearance. The dialogue is rough.
Brandon: Worshiping at the church of baseball?
Brandon: How’s your shoulder doing?
Tyler: It’s fine. It’s my heart that’s aching.
Brandon: I’ve been there.
Here’s another spoiler: that dude who Tiffany ditched at the altar? It’s Brandon. So this actor’s portrayal of a character who was abandoned by a lover is quippy sidekick dialogue…
Tyler knows nothing of the relationship between his best friend and sister that has progressed to marriage. How long has Tyler been back in town? Does he not talk to his sister or best friend? Are they too afraid of Tyler’s violent outbursts at the thought of his sister talking to a man? Brandon tells a joke, and starts asking about Tyler’s trainer as if he’s going to ask Tyler for her number. The man who was almost married one scene ago.
Meanwhile, Tiffany has the hot guy bring her to her family’s vacation house. Her aunt needed a place to crash, but she went on vacation from the vacation home, so Tiffany can hide here from Brandon. What a bizarre explanation for this location. Does she not have friends to stay with? What if the aunt comes back? Why did the aunt leave her dog? Why did her family buy a vacation home in Salt Lake City when they all seem to live there?
Chase comes in to talk to Tiffany, and she talks about how excited she is to get out of her wedding dress because that will be a major plot point. After Chase leaves there’s a sadness montage. Tiffany wanders around a room in her dress, it briefly cuts to sad Brandon staring at a photo we can’t see, and Tiffany shakes her head and cries. She stops short of saying “blue is a symbol for sadness” before falling asleep. Now we know Brandon was the groom, but the target audience probably didn’t realize because no characters had said it out loud yet. The mystique feels so dragged out when you reveal a potential twist to the audience early on.