Love stories that cross international borders are a true indulgence at the moment. The days of finding love on a gap year to Ireland seem “so 2019” that Finding You feels like it’s more an imagined fantasy than a real-life possibility right now.
Am I being too dramatic?
Finding You is about teenage violinist Finley Sinclair, and a-list actor Beckett Rush. When Finley fails her entrance exam to study music, she opts for a “plan B” semester abroad in a small Irish village. There she meets Beckett, who’s staying at her host family’s bed-and-breakfast while filming another instalment of his medieval movie franchise (read: pretend Game of Thrones), and an unlikely romance sparks between the couple.
The relationship causes Finley to rethink her perspectives on life and music, and has Beckett confessing his unhappiness with the famous world he’s immersed in, and how it misrepresents what he’s truly like.
In the background of their budding romance, Finley’s also learning about life from an elderly woman in a nursing home who she’s been assigned to as part of her studies, amplifying the coming-of-age nature of her trip.
Remembering that time of life where you’re on the brink of adulthood, unsure of what’s going to come next and not fully confident in your own skin, Finding You is a sweet story about leaning in to the spontaneity life offers and choosing trust over fear.
Finley has a plan in mind for her life, and while she’s proficient in “doing things right”, it’s not until she gets some life experience that she’s going to be able to do them with passion and understanding.
The movie also prompts questions about our expectations in relationships, as we see some stereotypes busted, and others embraced.
What’s good about Finding You, is that Finley and Beckett both contribute to each other’s growth.
Finley isn’t consumed with Beckett’s status, and as their relationship grows she isn’t afraid to call him out on the double life he’s living between Hollywood and the “real world”. Likewise he won’t let Finley confine him to her assumptions about famous people, so in their dynamic Finley provides a grounding for Beckett, and he inspires her to let go of control.
Finley’s interest in her work with the nursing home is also something Beckett respects, and he supports her as she finds friendship with the woman who she’s helping.
Finding You does rests on the stereotypes, in making Beckett a ticket to adventure for Finley and framing her as “special” because she’s the girl the superstar has chosen to confide in.
For the teen target audience, it’s important the takeaway doesn’t rest on the “famous boys’” ability to widen the ”normal girls’” horizons. Rather, they see how Finley and Beckett’s compatibility came from each seeing more in the other person than what they may have seen in themselves, and choosing to help draw it out.
Finding You’s real message is less about intercontinental love, and more about being open to make brave decisions that stretch your comfort zone and allow you to learn. It also ends – no spoilers – with some sage, unchanging advice to aid us all in the uncertainties of life.
Finding You is in select cinemas now. Rated PG