In All I See Is You, a blind woman whose sight is restored opens her eyes to see her husband for the first time, and pronounces he is “not what I expected.”
And it’s true. The movie (set in Thailand) opens in the marriage bed, Gina (Blake Lively) in the throes of passion, imagining a twisting orgy of swarthy, dreamy men. One ocular implant later, she finds herself staring at the receding chin of husband James (Jason Clarke), and the look on her face is one of unconcealed disappointment (probably not the first case of implants ruining a marriage).
This has kinky potential, and director Marc Forster makes a feint in the direction of psychosexual thriller. The couple’s sex life was rooted in the way the lovers responded to seeing and being seen, and the sighted Gina has forever altered the dynamics of this interplay.
She’s also seeing herself for the first time, seeing the way other men respond to her, a development that inspires envy in her husband. Was his “selfless” caregiving really a form of control all along? Did he get off on her dependence?
A trip to Spain, where the couple visits Gina’s sister Carla (Ahna O’Reilly) and brother-in-law Ramon (Miquel Fernandez), reveals all. The couples visit a sex district, where Gina discovers that she’s an enthusiastic voyeur, and James is shown to be a prude.
Here the movie is guilty of silliness and outrageous stacking of the deck. Poor, stuck-up James is a paper-pushing insurance salesman, while Ramon is a lusty neo-Picasso who specializes in phallic art and manfully throws punches in the street to protect the women. After a disastrous night on the town, Gina and James lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to the noisy lovemaking of their hosts.
The movie then pivots to become a routine thriller, built around the toxic distrust encroaching upon the marriage — portentous shots of blue dropper bottles, more information and postoperative steroid drops, and antibiotic eye treatment that we probably need. The plot also throws in a dog, a pool boy, and guitar lessons that turn out to have an improbably large impact on the ending.
Forster does some interesting visual work here to suggest the perspective of a person who is (legally) blind, but in general, when your thriller requires the heroic intervention of an ophthalmologist, you’re in trouble.
All I See Is You
- Directed by Marc Forster. With Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Miguel Rodriques, Ahna O'Reilly and Danny Huston. Distributed by Open Road Films.
- Parents guide: R (strong sexual content/nudity, and language).
- Running time: 1 hour, 50 mins.
- Playing at: Area theaters