Tyler says he doesn’t deserve her, and she says that’s not up to him. She says it’s probably selfish to ask him to abandon his dream of playing professional sports for her, and Amanda gets really offended by this turn in the conversation. Amanda reveals that she is in the room, and Kenzie runs off again. Amanda reminds him that he has a baseball career, but he’s mad at her for… being present in the home he invited her into.
Tyler runs after Kenzie, but Chelsie is there to stop him as Kenzie races off. Is Chelsie not going with her sister? Brandon shows up to stand in front of her as Tyler pushes her out of the way. He does some “comedy”, and then he joins Tyler in the car to go after Kenzie. Chelsie kind of wanders away since no one cares about her, and Brandon and Tyler go see Tiffany instead of having another Tyler/Kenzie meltdown.
Why does Kenzie still love Tyler? He really doesn’t seem all that interested in her, and he treats her and their situation like a burden. Baseball is his life and motivation, so can he not find a wife who is okay with that? You’d think a fellow ball player would be able identify with his motivation in some fashion, and they could have real conversations about their issues that would actually show the complex weave of emotional conflict that the film wants to portray. These scenes instead show an incompatibility and instability that makes this couple tragic. And worse, the constant improv takes up time that should be spent fleshing out the inner struggle of the characters. Rehashing the same cycle of ideas verbally alongside lukewarm comedy doesn’t make for rich characters that an audience can identify with.
It makes sense why Tiffany stops getting scenes… because there’s literally nothing else to show in her story.
She almost married Brandon, but now she’s having a pseudo-affair with Chase. Her motivation is that she’s tired of being the perfect Christian girl, yet she continually rebuffs Chase’s advances, and refuses to give into her earthly desires. Is she tired of being the perfect Christian girl, or is that just a mishmash of words with no meaning behind them? Why don’t we ever get flashback scenes of her and Brandon to parallel what Tyler’s been getting in his story? I don’t understand the Brandon-Tiffany relationship because they never talk about it without being so nebulous and boring that characters in the movie don’t bother paying attention to it.
If Tiffany’s story is about an “affair”, mention that Jesus thinks looking at a non-Christian man and thinking he’s hot is the same as adultery. In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus is giving the Sermon on the Mount; he’s remixing the Torah, and tells the Jewish audience that looking at someone with lust is exactly the same as violating the fidelity of a marriage. Even if you grant that it is indeed the case for married people; who’s being wronged when single people look at each other with lust? Especially those who will never get married or have a long term partner. God doesn’t bother getting into the nitty gritty of his moral philosophy, he just punishes people for thought crime and tells them they’d be better off gouging out their eyes than chancing eternal damnation by checking someone out. It’s our own fault we go to hell, and we chose it by watching the Playboy channel instead of mutilating our bodies. Of course, you could also just thank God for sacrificing himself to himself to solve the dilemma he ultimately created by purposefully forming his own inverse and unleashing it onto physical reality. Wasn’t that nice of him? Why couldn’t we get a cool mythos in our society? At least Catholicism has the potential for a Saint Cinematic Universe to come help these people solve their stupid problems with dubious miracles.
On the way to Tiffany’s, Tyler has to have a scene where he explains why he is not in the same outfit in the following events even though it’s the exact same day. There’s a script supervisor credited on this film, but who knows if they even had a script to refer to for continuity…
Tyler asks Brandon to check the back seat of his vehicle for his duffle bag, as if he’s incapable of turning around to check for himself. He gets really pissy when Brandon doesn’t do it immediately, since scenes need conflict and this film finds it impossible to create any in a meaningful way. Brandon confirms the bag is there, and Tyler is glad because he has to change out of his mustard-stained clothing. Why did they stop to get mustardy food on the way to make things right with Tiffany? Tyler gives Brandon a pep talk where he encourages Brandon to be himself. Wow, such sage wisdom.
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Wait… wasn’t he mad at Brandon for dating his sister five minutes ago? Was the script supervisor frequently absent? Maybe Tyler is still mad, and he’s giving Brandon terrible advice. “Go tell her another blonde joke, Tiffany will definitely not permanently end the relationship after another one of those gems.”
In the vacation home, Chase and Tiffany are studying the Bible. They’re reading the story of Daniel and the lions, but that story has nothing to do with the plot of this movie. Apparently the writers couldn’t find a story about a relationship in the Bible to create a sort of thematic connection. Also, why is she reading the Bible if she’s tired of being the perfect Christian girl? Why aren’t they watching atheist TV, being carefree layabouts without God’s grace to enrich their lives? Why isn’t Chase crashing that brand new Mazda so that Brandon and Tiffany can get married? Chase spends the opening of this scene repeating Tiffany’s lines back to her because this movie has bad improv instead of dialogue.
Tiffany: And Daniel comes out of the den unharmed.
Tiffany: Yeah! Isn’t that amazing?
Chase: Yeah, it’s amazing.
They don’t even seem to be reading the words in the Bible, she just has it open while summarizing the main plot points. He has no questions, she has no commentary. No one had notes on how this brief moment could be improved because it’s so clearly a thespian tour de force and not an awkward first take.
Then Chase starts a diatribe about Tiffany, the runaway bride he met a few days ago. He thinks she’s so smart, beautiful, amazing, generic compliment, adjective, and super duper Christian. But how dedicated to Jesus is she? His point is that he wants to bang her, and she makes sure to let us know that she only wants to do that with the man that she loves and is married to. Because she’s so tired of being the perfect Christian girl that she refuses to do anything outside the belief system she’s abandoning that might actually affect something related to this movie. Why bother showing that a woman is more than her virginity – that she’s still worth something after an act so vile that the film can only allude to it? It’s like doing a prodigal child story where the kid stays at home and makes a couple of small, rash purchases while mostly holding onto their early inheritance. Tiffany acts like it’s not Christian for her to break up with her fiance and date a new guy, and Brandon arrives just as Chase kisses her, though she isn’t really into it.
Brandon is not the actor to be conveying the emotions of this scene. Tiffany runs away crying, and he looks like someone who walked in on their dog pooping on the rug. The sadness and devastation do not come through in partial facepalms and hand gestures that communicate one’s displeasure with a football referee. The action cuts to outside, where Tiffany runs into Tyler who is quite upset with his sister. She uses the “perfect Christian girl” defense again, and claims to be free from the morals she seemed rather bound by literally seconds ago. Maybe that’s the point? Even when someone is sinning, there’s an inner voice telling them what’s right? Then again, there’s no way anyone involved in this thought it through that far.
He’s not wrong, but that’s the least of this movie’s issues.
The editor decides to play a prank on the directors, because Brandon calmly walks outside alone as Tyler gestures over towards him and yells, “Oh, so he makes you happy?” For a second, it feels like he’s asking about Brandon, and the sad piano music fits how that comment would make him feel. Then Tyler says the line about only knowing that guy for like a week, and while that may apply to Brandon based on the amount of time we’ve seen this once great couple together, Tyler was definitely referring to Chase. Chase… who is not outside, and is never referred to by anything other than nonspecific nouns and pronouns.
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