Marc Forster’s All I See Is You opens with a flurry of lens distortions that’s intended to mimic the sight-impaired perspective of its protagonist, Gina (Blake Lively). The initial playfulness of these kaleidoscopic visuals devolves into tiresome repetition, failing to represent the experience of limited vision with the grace of Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, from which Forster and co-screenwriter Sean Conway clearly drew their inspiration. All I See Is You doesn’t even bother to take advantage of the aesthetic potentials of its Bangkok and Spain settings, and once it bafflingly extends its stylistic flourishes to Gina’s memories from before the accident that caused her vision loss, it becomes clear that these opening sequences exist merely as a hollow showcase for Forster’s aimless experimental tinkering.
Haphazard in its own ways, All I See Is You’s narrative kicks into gear when Gina’s doctor (Danny Huston) informs her that a spot has opened up for an experimental procedure that could cure the blindness in one of the woman’s eyes. Her husband, James (Jason Clarke), is seemingly thrilled at the prospect, yet the microaggressions he subjects Gina to—at one point, he mocks her on the dance floor and then leaves her to briefly fend for herself in a crowded hallway—suggest that he prefers that she remain in a weakened state. But after the successful surgery, Gina turns the tables on her husband, becoming increasingly critical of him and voicing her discomfort with, among other things, their apartment because it doesn’t look like she imagined it would.
Tensions continue to simmer between them when they go on vacation: They return to their honeymoon spot in the south of Spain before heading to Barcelona to visit Gina’s sister, Carol (Ahna O’Reilly), and, for some reason, the site of the childhood accident that cost Gina her vision and claimed the lives of her and Carol’s parents. James and Gina’s second honeymoon predictably sours after she calls him out for lying about their room being the same one they stayed in before. And when Gina later ties James up in an attempt to exert her newfound sense of power in their sex life, he overreacts and ruins the mood. And their sex life continues to decline at a comically rapid pace when James learns that he can’t father children and is then stuck in bed with Gina listening to her sister and obnoxious brother-in-law, Ramon (Miquel Fernández), having loud, passionate sex in the room next door.
As these minor occurrences snowball into something not terribly nefarious, with the aid of a less-than-thrilling subplot involving eye drops, All I See Is You clumsily transitions into a mild-mannered psychological thriller. And it doesn’t so much take twists and turns as veer lazily in random directions, like a drunk driver struggling to figure out how to get home. When Gina and James’s contentious behavior turns full-on sociopathic, the narrative offers little in terms of logic or motivation to justify the excessive heightening of their combative mentalities. While the film could have offered an intriguing viewpoint from which to examine the dissolution of a marriage, the increasingly absurd actions of its characters seem calibrated only to direct the plot toward a relatively rote, predictable finale. And the longer things drag out, All I See Is You becomes every bit as amorphous as its protagonist’s vision.