In Your Eyes is a 2014 science-fiction romance film directed by Brin Hill and written and executive produced by Joss Whedon. It is the second film from Bellwether Pictures—Whedon and his wife Kai Cole's production company—following 2013's Much Ado About Nothing. It premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival on April 20th, 2014, at which it was also made available world-wide to rent on Vimeo. You can do so here. It's also available on Netflix.
The story follows two people, Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David), who discover that they have a strange supernatural connection with each other: Despite living on opposite sides of the country, they can experience each other's senses.
This film contains examples of:
- Abusive Dad: Rebecca's father, "the scariest man who ever lived."
- The Atoner - Dylan is on parole after spending some time in prison for B+E/robbery.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Dylan is described as this — a very smart guy mixed up with the wrong kind of people.
- Buffy Speak: It's a Joss Whedon movie, all right. In a drunken conversation, Dylan calls himself a "criminal element man-type".
- Childhood Friend Romance: A bizarre example, Dylan and Rebecca have actually been present in each other's lives since they were children, with neither one of them knowing the other was a real person until years later.
- Colour-Coded Characters / Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: It's quite subtle, but throughout the film Rebecca is associated with cold tones and Dylan with warm ones, as she lives in snowy New Hampshire, wears monochrome outfits and blue a lot and spends a lot of time in a dark, vaguely blue-ishly lit house, while Dylan lives in the New Mexico desert and wears reds and browns, his house is very warm-toned and even in his darker spaces (the bar, outside in the evening, etc) the light is generally firelight or heavily golden.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Since both Dylan and Rebecca can experience each other's senses, this doubles as their love scene in the movie.
- Domestic Abuse: Rebecca's husband, Philip, an emotionally abusive Control Freak who corrects her constantly, forces her to change clothes, reads her the riot act for having a breakdown, throws out anything that connects her to her past and, in the end, has her medicated and committed to a mental institution when he believes she is cheating on him.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Dylan is notably smarter than most of the people around him, leaving him with few meaningful social connections and an obvious dissatisfaction over his lot in life.
- Long-Distance Relationship: An unusual play on the concept, since Rebecca and Dylan have never met in person at all when they become aware of each other, several hundred miles apart.
- Magical Realism: No attempt is made to explain how the characters' connection is possible.
- Mindlink Mates: Dylan and Rebecca become this over time.
- Not So Different: Dylan and Rebecca are both, at their core, deeply lonely people. Part of the reason they take to their newfound bond so quickly is that it gives them each a way to escape the isolation of their daily lives.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: See Colour-Coded Characters - not a completely straightforward example of this trope, but some elements are present; Dylan (the Red) is an ex-con who occasionally gets into fights in bars and is on the surface more laid-back and easygoing than Rebecca (the Blue), who lives a convention-bound and apparently perfectly serene lifestyle with her doctor husband and bottles up all her negative emotions.
- Smug Snake: Philip, who is far too sure of himself and his brilliance.
- Synchronization: The main premise of the movie.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Dylan's friends from school and criminal confederates, Bo and Lyle. Lyle's the dunce, Bo's the smart one.