If a filmmaker wants us to believe in a big sappy ending that neatly ties up all the emotional loose ends, that filmmaker should first convince us to believe in the story that gets us there. But nothing in the muddle that is the plodding plot of Leonard Farlinger's I'm Yours prepares us for the ending.
Instead, except for keenly watching the heroine unwind, we just want it to end.
I'm Yours is a road movie that puts two drunken, stoned and screwed-up strangers in his car on a trip from New York City to North Bay, Ontario (where the movie was shot). After a night of debauchery, including fuzzy-brained sex in a sleazy motel, she blackmails and kidnaps him, without violence. Instead, she hides something of his that he desperately wants returned. He is obliged to go along with her crazy plan.
She is Daphne/Marie, a North Bay runaway who is struggling to make it in the Big Apple. But she still has business back home in the Gateway to the North. The role is played by Karine Vanasse, the Quebec actress best known for her stunning performance in Polytechnique, as well as a small flashback role in Midnight in Paris. Vanasse is not just easy on the eyes, she possesses a transformational quality that catches you in her character's emotional truth. Trouble is, no character can just exist in a bubble. The story needs to make sense. More on that in a moment.
He is a New York investment broker with a bag full of money and just as many secrets in his noggin as the heroine. Rossif Sutherland plays the role, with no discernible charm or conviction. Instead, he virtually mopes the entire way from Manhattan to North Bay, even when they stop overnight at the Moe-Ze-On-Inn (a real-life locale, amazingly enough). Sutherland's character is as dead as the roadkill deer that a northerner hits when he picks them up hitch-hiking south of Pembroke, after the car breaks down.
The whole point of the movie, which was written as well as directed by Farlinger, is to get to North Bay, reveal all the secrets and resolve major issues. Trouble is, besides geographical oddities that can easily be overlooked, the premise is ridiculous. Vanasse almost sells it anyway, but Sutherland seems to remain as unconvinced as we do.
Meanwhile, there are absurd lines of dialogue to chew on from the co-stars. And from support players such as Don McKellar, who plays Sutherland's best friend and boss back in New York.
"Hope is about getting what you can when you can get it," McKellar says while expounding on the expanding universe and the eventual end of the world. "The foundations of humanity have collapsed," Sutherland muses, later bemoaning "this wretched mortal coil." Okay, Shakespeare's on the road to North Bay and this is an existential, dystopian adventure.
But twisty, clever lines do not make the core story any more authentic or even remotely believable. I'm Yours is not for me.