Sad to say, one of the most genuinely fun movies to be filmed in the mid-Hudson Valley since we became a hot shooting location has not been getting full-scale theatrical release since its world premiere at last fall’s Woodstock Film Festival. So it behooves you to pay attention to the dates, times and locations where Then Came You is sporadically popping up. Those will include this Sunday, March 3 at 8:15 p.m. at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck and Tuesday, March 5 at 7:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre. Both screenings will be followed by live question-and-answer sessions with director Peter Hutchings.
Game of Thrones fans, anxiously counting down the days to the final season premiere in April after a year’s hiatus, will be pleased to know that they can pass some of that time enjoying a new role for Maisie Williams, best-known as GoT fan-favorite teenaged assassin Arya Stark. In Then Came You she plays Skye, a fey, black-humored girl with terminal cancer who needs a sidekick to help her check things off her “To-Die List.” Her partner-in-crime – sometimes literally – is Calvin, a young man who works as a baggage handler at an airport and is too wound up in anxiety attacks and hypochondria to enjoy his life. He’s portrayed by another gifted young actor, Asa Butterfield, who played the leads in both Hugo and Ender’s Game. Calvin also has a crush on a flight attendant named Izzy (Nina Dobrev), but is terrified to talk to her.
If this scenario sounds like every other Young Adult novel out there in recent years, complete with dying protagonist, be advised that Then Came You has a significant narrative difference: Even though losing her virginity is one of the checkboxes on her list, Skye and Calvin aren’t destined for a tragic romantic relationship. Refreshingly, they become friends and remain so despite many tests, and it’s enough. A lot of what this movie is about is the power of platonic friendship.
Then Came You stands on its own merits for story and characterization, acting and pacing and cinematography; but local residents will be particularly enthralled by all the geographical Easter eggs packed inside. The airport scenes were shot in Albany, swimming pool scenes at Bard College, firehouse scenes at the FASNY Museum in Hudson. Locationwise, the biggest star is Kingston: The kids get tased and busted for shoplifting at Bop to Tottom, practice fencing at Academy Green, shoot craps on the sidewalk behind BSP, have a crucial quarrel on the Rondout waterfront promenade…and on and on.
If you spend any time hanging out in Kingston at all, I defy you to sit through this delightful movie without uttering frequent whoops of recognition.
Then Came You, Sunday, Mar. 3, 8:15 p.m., $10/$8/$6, Upstate Films, 6415 Montgomery Street (Rte. 9), Rhinebeck, (845) 876-2515, https://upstatefilms.org
Then Came You, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7:15 p.m., $8/$6, Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St. (Rte. 213), Rosendale, (845) 658-8989, www.rosendaletheatre.org