Visit Films on OVID: Our Review of ‘My Name Is Emily’

Posted in What's Streaming? by - February 15, 2024
Visit Films on OVID: Our Review of ‘My Name Is Emily’


To paraphrase Tolstoy, unhappy fathers etc., as the curtains slowly rise in Simon Fitzmaurice’s My Name is Emily and its central couple. The boy in this heterosexual Irish teen couple is Arden (George Webster). He has the kind of posh dad who can’t wait to get rid of his child. The titular Emily (Harry Potter franchise’s Evanna Lynch) has a father (Michael Smiley) who’s slightly better. He gives her skills like interpreting poetry, etc. Unfortunately, the healthcare system in Ireland thinks he’s an unfit father, institutionalising him.

Emily deals with this separation while living in a nice foster home, but things get worse as her father doesn’t write during her birthday. She decides to run away and break him out of the institution, and Arden comes with her. This requires them to drive across Ireland, with pit stops at Arden’s grandmother’s place so My Name is Emily can stretch its running time. Elongating what normally takes a seven hour journey also means that the two teenagers get to have quality time together.

A lot of the film’s second act takes place in the tent that they have to build on both nights that they’re on the road. But again, even if the film feels like it’s stretching, its pace helps expose its characters’ interiorities. My Name is Emily has its silent moments but it’s never silent because of its quirky dialogue. And it’s the bearable kind of quirky, as it’s obvious that she’s talking like this to deny what she may discover about her dad.

My Name is Emily‘s biggest asset and liability comes with its actors, especially Lynch. Films and shows cast twentysomething actors all the time, but Lynch’s age seems noticeable in some of the scenes here. I’m sure there’s a version of this film where Lynch plays someone her age. That version can make just as much sense as this one. There’s also a lack of tension here. One of their hurdles involves a bunch of other teens whom Arden easily scare off.

As I write this though, Lynch’s voice helps sell her character, as well as the scenes in My Name Is Emily where she interacts with the other characters. This is especially true when she eventually reunites with her father. That may be a light spoiler, but the film gives enough twists to make the circumstances of that reunion different. And those little differences add an emotional poignancy to a road movie where everything eventually falls in place.

Watch My Name Is Emily on OVID.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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