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Movie Review

Gina is blind. She had full sight when she was a little girl, but a car crash turned her pupils to pulp, leaving the visual world nothing more than a strange, uncertain whorl. Her life in Bangkok—where her husband, James, works in insurance—is filled with sounds and smells and sensation, but no color. No visual delineation at all.

But despite her blindness, Gina spies some hope: An eye specialist tells her that he just might be able to repair one of her eyeballs. Naturally, she and James latch onto this thread of hope. Gina goes under the knife and …

It works! She's dazzled by colors. She's fascinated by patterns. She looks at her husband and …

Well, OK, James is a little disappointing in the looks department. But no matter, because at least they live in a beautiful …

No, make that a fairly average apartment, I guess, where their outdoor balcony is so close to the neighbors that Gina could almost reach out and yank a cigarette from the old lady across the way.

So what if life isn't quite as beautiful as she imagined. If someone saw her for the first time, maybe they'd be disappointed, too.

Or not! Because Gina's beautiful! Like, Blake Lively beautiful, in fact! She's young! Adventurous! She has no reason to be scared of the big, bright world anymore, not now that she sees its true colors.

So just what, Gina begins to ask herself is she doing with plain ol', boring ol' insurance guy James in a semi-dumpy apartment? How, exactly, should a gorgeous woman in the middle of Bangkok spend her time?

She'll soon see, I guess—quite literally. But will James wish that she didn't?

Positive Elements

Gina seems to love three things: sex, kids and dogs. And while her sexual predilections grow a bit … questionable, we have no quibbles with her desire to teach a young lass guitar or to save a pooch from being euthanized. Bravo, Gina!

Spiritual Content

None, unless you read quasi-religious symbolism into a naked minotaur statue painted in what appears to be blood. (Bulls have long been associated in various religions with sex and virility, and plenty of gods over the ages have sported a bull's head. In the context of the scene, the sculpture seems designed to evoke some sort of sexualized pagan ritual, with a naked man paying homage to the visage.)

Sexual Content

Before Gina regains her sight, she and James have a seemingly fulfilling sex life. The movie's first scene takes us straight into their passionate lovemaking, descending into a literal kaleidoscope of naked arms and legs and backs and rears.

But when Gina begins to regain her eyesight, sex becomes less rewarding because of problems James is having. She later blindfolds and ties him to a bed. An explicit and lengthy conversation about fantasies and masturbation ensues. (Incidentally, she records the whole, uncomfortable act with a video camera, and James re-watches the scene later.)

Still other sex scenes involving other characters include more breast and backside nudity, as well as explicit movements and sounds. A woman's shown showering from the side and rear. Another scene includes a man making suggestive pantomimes with the above-mentioned minotaur statue. We hear a suggestive conversation about a male swimmer's "package."

Gina takes a bath with Carla's 9- or 10-year-old son—an interlude that Gina doesn't find weird or creepy at all, but James believes is pretty inappropriate. (Both bathers have their critical parts covered in bubbles.) A man wears a woman's dress, both as a joke and as something that's apparently a turn on for him.

Someone apparently grabs Gina's rear, and she's upset when James seems unconcerned. She wears flattering, revealing garb. We see her in a swimsuit, too, at one point sharing the pool with what appears to be a squadron of gigantic sperm.

Violent Content

In flashback, we see images from the car crash that blinded Gina, including a shot of her blood-soaked face. (Both of her parents were killed in the accident, we also learn.) After Gina's surgery, her eye often seems filled with blood. Someone else apparently is killed in a car crash. A neighbor wants to euthanize the family dog because she won't have time to take care of it and her two children. A bird slams into a window and dies. (Gina stores the corpse in the fridge, for some reason.) Gina and James' house is ransacked.

Crude or Profane Language

More than 15 f-words and five s-words. We also hear "a--," "d--n," "d--ks," "h---" and "p-ss." God's name is misused seven times, while Jesus' name is abused twice.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Gina smokes on occasion, even though James encourages her to quit. Others do, too, including the couple's balcony-sitting neighbor across the street.

Everyone drinks, and frequently. Beer and wine seems to be the beverages of choice. James staggers into his apartment late one night, apparently drunk. Several scenes take place in bars or clubs.

Other Negative Elements

Gina and James' dog experiences a long afternoon in their apartment, urinating and defecating everywhere. James steps in some excrement, and we see plenty of the stuff all around. There's an image of toilet paper being flushed down a toilet bowl. Menstrual blood runs down Gina's leg.

[Spoiler Warning] James isn't so happy about Gina's recovered eyesight, so he sabotages her steroid eye drops, sapping her ability to see. He lies to her and plays tricks on her sometimes, apparently to feed his own sense of power and increase her dependence on him.

Conclusion

The gift of sight is great. Really. But sometimes, sight is more trouble than it's worth. Say, for example, when one must sit through a movie like All I See Is You.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Director Marc Forster has made some mighty fine movies in the past, including the family-friendly Finding Neverland, the surprisingly thoughtful Stranger Than Fiction and the super-problematic but widely lauded Monster's Ball. You'd think he'd know what he's doing and, as such, I wonder if All I See is You was intended, on some level, to be a metaphor: Gina might be a representation of female liberation, who can suddenly "see" a far bigger, broader, sexual world than she previously could experience, while James is a representative of manhood, fearful and threatened by the female's newfound freedom.

But be it metaphor or not, it doesn't make the movie any better. Indeed, from a spiritual point of view, it makes it significantly worse.

Gina's sexual exploration dives into deeply problematic territory, both thematically and visually—from an extramarital affair, to an explicit peep show she watches, to her "innocent" bath with her not-so-little nephew. While the movie takes pains to sculpt James as a surly stick-in-the-mud, it kinda seems like he's got a point: Maybe she shouldn't be watching masked, naked performers do the deed live, in front of a paying audience. Maybe you shouldn't be taking naked baths with young relatives on the verge of adolescence.

Freedom is a funny thing, and sexual freedom is no different: To be utterly, wholly free can be dangerous without judicious boundaries: To be simultaneously free and alive and fulfilled and healthy requires a certain level of restraint and self-policing. And maybe it's just me being a James-like stick-in-the-mud, but it seems to me that just as Gina's senses grow deeper, she herself grows shallower.

Aesthetically, the film fares no better. It's so enraptured by its imagery and symbolism that it loses any sort of purpose and control of its own plot. This film is like a cake made entirely of food coloring. It's bad, plain and simple—and not even the sort of bad that you marvel at its terribleness or puzzle over its deficiencies, but the sort of bad that feels like a stomach flu: You just want to be done with it and forget about it as soon as possible.

All I Can See Is You? Let's not see this at all.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Drama

Author

Cast

Blake Lively as Gina; Jason Clarke as James; Ahna O'Reilly as Carla; Miquel Fernández as Ramon; Xavi Sánchez as Luca; Yvonne Strahovski as Karen; Wes Chatham as Daniel; Danny Huston as Doctor Hughes

Director

Marc Forster ( )

Distributor

Open Road

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

October 27, 2017

On Video

January 16, 2018

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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