And that is borne out in this tale of fluttering young feelings, whose theme of faith is — to the extent that it’s there at all — little more than a bay leaf flavoring the stew, but removed before serving: You can just taste it, but it’s not really there.
Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) is an 18-year-old American college student and aspiring violinist who, after getting rejected from an audition for a prestigious music academy, turns to a semester abroad in Ireland, where she hopes to perfect her fiddling skills while staying with relatives in the small town where her deceased brother once studied. Upon arrival, Finley discovers a sketchbook that bro left behind, with a drawing of a grave marker: a broken Celtic cross, next to her scribbled name. What does it mean, and where is this cross? If the carving bears a message for her, such statuary exists in every cemetery in Ireland. The question hangs over the plot like a cloud.
It’s not the only one.
On the flight over, Finley happens to sit next to Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), a hunky if slightly arrogant movie star making yet another one of his popular but pulpy fantasy flicks in the very town where Finley is staying — while coincidentally renting a room in her relatives’ bed-and-breakfast. Be still, Finley’s heart! “It would never work,” she thinks, bringing herself back down to earth.
Or would it?
Finley takes on the role of Beckett’s informal assistant, helping him to run lines and find his character, and improving his acting skills in the process by giving him reason to actually believe the mushy talk his character spouts to his co-star, Taylor Risdale (Katherine McNamara), an airhead actress with whom he has a shallow, on-again-off-again romance in the real world as well. Meanwhile Finley strikes up a friendship with an elderly nursing-home resident (Vanessa Redgrave) who’s estranged from her sister (Helen Roche).
Will Finley help the aged siblings reconcile before it’s too late? Will she ever find that cross and whatever message it holds? Will she be touched with the gift of true musicianship — courtesy of a homeless, drunk string virtuoso (Patrick Bergin)? And, most importantly, will she ultimately find true love with Beckett, even as she teaches him to follow his own bliss (meaning: pursue better scripts and finally dump Taylor once and for all)?
Uhhh . . . has it really been that long since you’ve been to the movies?
There are no real surprises here, except maybe one. It would never work, Finley warns us, and it seems she might as well be talking about this cornball movie. But thanks to something ineffable — Redgrave, leprechauns, moondust, or maybe just understated performances from two appealing protagonists — “Finding You” kinda, sorta does.
PG. At area theaters. Contains some strong language and mature thematic elements. 115 minutes.