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Before We Go - Film4

Alive Eve and Chris Evans get to know each other
(Image credit: © Paramount Pictures)

Two strangers bond over one night in Manhattan in this charming romance. 4/5 stars

Chris Evans took a break from his superhero duties as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to direct and star in this intimate, low-key drama.

Alice Eve is winningly abrasive as the woman whose life goes into freefall when she gets her purse stolen and misses her train at Grand Central Station, while Evans is perfectly cast as the nice-guy busker who offers to help her.

Showing a lived-in side of the City That Never Sleeps, which feels and looks authentic, the film takes a predictable route plotwise as the two get to know each other over a series of midnight adventures, while revealing their tangled backstories.

But what the script lacks in originality, the stars make up for in a charming chemistry that will have you rooting for them to ditch their individual heartache and make the most of what is developing right in front of their eyes.

Ultimately, Evans' directorial debut is an unexpectedly sweet but never sugary confection which showcases a side to his screen persona that proves he's equally appealing when he shifts down a gear.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.