‘By The Sea’ just seems like a reunion of a well known couple on screen for the first time since ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ that lacks any story or direction.

By The Sea is set in France during the mid-1970s where Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

I was bored from the beginning of the film and the trivial aspects of their relationship and repetitiveness of the films flow made it seem drawn out and monotonous. And not to mention Brad Pitt hacks into his French lines like a blunt axe into wood.

What is of interest to me is the slow decline of the quality of films these two have attached their names to in whatever aspect they may, especially in that of the acting perspective. They are brilliant actors, shown in films like Fight Club for Pitt and Changeling for Angelina Jolie, but we haven’t seen anything of the like in recent years.

The first half of the film essentially shows nothing of interest – Pitt’s character going out to the local cafe-restaurant to get drunk, attempt to speak some French, and fail to write a single thing; and Jolie lounging about on the balcony, pouting underneath her bug-eyed sunglasses and huge hat, before sulking back into the hotel room to pry the apparently interesting life of the newlyweds next door through an old hole in the wall.

The second half of the film almost seems as pointless and unfulfilled as the first half. There does seem to be some sort of plot and direction as the newlyweds from next door become more apart of Jolie and Pitt’s lives but through poor writing, it quickly falls apart quickly.

By The Sea just seems like a reunion of a well known couple on screen for the first time since Mr. & Mrs. Smith that lacks any story or direction.

Film-O-Meter: 2/10.


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