'Finding You' feels like a classic destination romance with some fun twists
May 13, 2021
Finding You originally stemmed from the 2011 novel There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. Director Brian Baugh fell in love with the book after one of the film's executive producers brought him the novel. Baugh said he and the EP were both super excited to take on a film with Ireland as the setting.
Hence the juicy romantic comedy/drama was born. The movie follows aspiring violinist Finley Sinclair (played by Rose Reid) who, after a failed arts school audition, heads to Ireland for an exchange program her brother previously participated in. On the plane, she has a lovely meet-cute with actor and tabloid favorite Beckett Rush (played by Jedidiah Goodacre, known for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). It’s a classic opposites-attract scenario and soon the pair, who did not initially hit it off, realize they are both staying in a remote and quiet Irish BnB (romantic). It’s a lovely jumping-off point for an impending romance.
Goodacre and Reid have excellent chemistry. Baugh decided to cast the film around Reid when he discovered her musical abilities.
“We tried to find our Beckett after we cast Rose, and Jed just had a unique quality and energy that felt uninhibited and unpredictable, which was something I was hoping for in the character," he said.
"Beckett needed to contrast with the girl that needs to come to life, and embody a character that needs more life experience than Finley, and Jed came with vibrancy in spades.”
Beckett and Finley are undoubtedly a romantic pair to root for. In addition to their opposites-attract chemistry, they are both living a fish-out-of-water life as two Americans in a small Irish town who happen to stick out like a sore thumb due to Beckett’s fame. The character of Ireland itself fills every frame of Baugh’s backdrop, which is just enhanced by the Irish music that scores Finding You. Baugh gives all credit to composers Tim Williams and Kieran Kiely (who is from Ireland). Reid also had a fiddler double in Irish violinist Zoë Conway, who is known for her unique plucking style.
The film is undoubtedly a love letter to the emerald beauty of small-town Ireland just as much as it is an ode to the possibility between Beckett and Finley. For Baugh, that was intentional.
“I hope the audience experiences the warmth and sense of community and togetherness. I hope it puts the Irish people in a really great light, and provides a sense of hope,” he said.
As Finley and Beckett’s relationship blossoms, so does Finley's sense of self; her conviction (and freedom) in her music, and her love of her surroundings. The classic opposites-attract formula works well here, and still provides for some elements of surprise.
“The appeal of opposites attract often comes in the hurdles the couple has to overcome,” Baugh mused.
“And the wild ride to get together. With Beckett and Finley, I think perhaps that because they are so different in the amount of fame they have, and the fact that Finley doesn’t fall for that aspect of Beckett’s personality, it makes her character unique and gives it a twist. The relationship upper hand is on the opposite side; but they still unify over their art, dreams, and journeys, and Finley gets the opportunity to uncover things about Beckett that are surprising.”
Ultimately, it’s a joy to watch a film that is so unabashedly romantic. It embraces the tropes of a romantic dramedy left and right. There’s no full-on kissing in the rain, but there may as well be as there’s plenty of flirting in the wilds of the Irish shoreside. As Beckett says, “It’s the perfect place for a convertible.”
Baugh’s entry into the destination romance is worth the watch, and it’s clear he loves the genre.
“Rom-coms have relatable and universal themes. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve learned from watching the greats like Cameron Crowe, James L. Brooks, or Richard Curtis. But I do strive to come up with a premise that works and I ask what keeps two people together and what grand force will they have to fight against to keep them apart,” he said.
In Beckett and Finley’s case, that’s what is indeed so fun to watch — the promise of youth and young love holds so much potential that it’s tough to grapple with whether your own potential can mesh with who you’re falling for, particularly when that person’s potential seems to lie in pursuing fame and fortune. Finding You has some romantic surprises (and unexpected red herrings up its sleeve). Grab a pint, get ready to tap a foot to the fiddle, and fall in love.
Roadside Attractions will release Finding You only in theaters on May 14.
Written by: Lindsay StidhamLindsay holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. She has overseen two scripts from script to screen as a writer/ producer. SPOONER, starring Matthew Lillard (SLAMDANCE), and DOUCHEBAG (SUNDANCE) both released theatrically. Most recently Lindsay sold PLAY NICE starring Mary Lynn Rajskub. The series was distributed on Hulu. Recent directing endeavors include the Walla Walla premiering (and best screenplay nominated) TIL DEATH DO US PART, and the music video for Bible Belt’s Tomorrow All Today. Lindsay is currently working on an interactive romcom for the production company Effin' Funny, and a feature film script for Smarty Pants Pictures. Lindsay also currently works as an Adjunct Screenwriting Faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. You can follow her work here: https://lindsaystidham.onfabrik.com/