A delightful piece of escapism
By Narelle Wood
Then Came You, written by Kathy Lee Gifford and directed by Adriana Trigiani, is a slow-burn romance, set amongst the spectacular scenery of Scotland.
Howard (Craig Ferguson) is the owner of a Scottish Inn that has been in his family for generations. Annabelle (Kathy Lee Gifford) is a bereaved American, embarking on a world tour in the wake of her husband’s passing. From the moment they meet the chemistry and the inevitable clash of cultures, tastes and dreams are all evident. Howard is determined to keep the Inn working and part of his family, while Annabelle is ready to find new dreams, lamenting those dreams she once had and abandoned in pursuit of a different kind of life. Gavin (Ford Kiernan), Howard’s best friend, cuts a clownish figure but plays the wise truth telling confidant to both Howard and Annabelle, especially when it starts to become clear that Howard’s and Annabelle’s bickering is symptomatic of an increasing affection for each other.
Gifford’s take on a later in life romance is refreshing. It’s understated, and while the banter is full of double entendre and miscommunication, there is a maturity and wisdom that is seldom seen in films of this genre. Even with the inclusion of Clare (Elizabeth Hurley) there are clear points of conflict and the two women are very different, but Gifford does not trot out the tired trope of two women fighting over of a man, and finds another resolution. The direction by Trigiani matches the pace of the storyline beautifully, except for one moment about three quarters the way through the film. I’m sure this moment was supposed to be a homage to a past era or film, but it was one that was lost on me and I found that it only managed to disrupt what until that point felt like a gentle walk through the Scottish countryside with a couple of friends who happen to be falling in love.
While there is a lot understated about Then Came You, the scenery is certainly not; the green sweeping mountains, the Scottish Lochs, and the small Scottish roads lined with the sheep make this film worth watching even if you’re not a fan of love stories. It’s a delightful piece of escapism, that’s heart-warming and calming without being too overly sentimental.
In cinemas now.