As I watched writer/director Kat Coiro’s romantic drama, And While We Were Here, I felt like I was swept away into experiencing love for the first time. And to top it all off, the film is set in Italy, where scenic shots of the coast made me fall even more in love. The film is completely immersed in Italian culture; it will cut from Italian families loudly arguing to shots of Vespas lining sidewalks. The soundtrack comforts you, as if you were sitting in a gondola, witnessing every inch of beauty this country has to offer.
However, the film doesn’t solely focus on one couple’s love journey; rather, it centers on the story of one woman, and the search for her own self. Kate Bosworth plays Jane, a writer who’s married to an English violinist named Leonard (Iddo Goldberg). At first, the two seem like a normal (and slightly boring) married couple. Their sex life is completely un-pleasurable, especially when the ambient noise during their scenes are of car alarms and passing traffic.
As Jane attempts to transcribe her grandmother’s World War II experiences for a memoir, she strays away from Naples, the city she’s residing in, and travels to Ischia for a day. While on her way to a castle, Jane meets a young American man named Caleb (Jaime Blackley). It isn’t until Caleb that we finally see Jane emerge from her quiet shell. As she and Caleb have a love affair, you can see the contrast between her stale, humdrum life with Leonard, to her vibrant and fun life with Caleb.
The distance between J.L. compared to the chemistry between J.C.
At first, Jane seems so pristine; she wears long chiffon pleated skirts and silk long sleeve blouses. Her character reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday: an elegant woman who desperately wants to live her life. When she starts to see Caleb, she starts to let her hair down and wear flowy clothing. As Caleb complicates Jane’s married life, Jane finally starts to realize what’s most important to her: love or herself.
This was one of the better roles Kate Bosworth has held since Blue Crush, to be completely honest. I liked that I got to see a side of Bosworth where she was able to switch from a lonely, unfulfilled life, to a fully confident woman who is completely autonomous. It’s more than the love story for Jane; it’s about finding what really matters in life and embracing the person you want to be.
And While We Were Here hits theaters today. You can also watch it on YouTube or on Amazon.