When Will stops midway through a makeout session with Jane in the romantic comedy “Which Brings Me to You,” it signals a kind of maturity on his part. And he’s met with surprise. Jane (Lucy Hale) was cool with a purely carnal interlude. Will (Nat Wolff) wants them to connect on a deeper level.
Hale and Wolff make likable their romantically messy characters, a freelance journalist and an art photographer, in this movie directed by Peter Hutchings. After rethinking their coat-closet tryst — at a Jersey Shore wedding — the two reset and begin recounting their romantic histories over the next 24 hours.
Her history tilts toward kind, deeply wounded men. His leans toward creative, vibrant women. The memories of these former romances unfold as visual vignettes, with each commenting on the other’s paramours. “Oh come on. … She’s really hot,” Jane says of Eve (Genevieve Angelson), the slightly older woman who spirited Will away from his college campus. “Oooh, Elton,” Wills says, hearing about the live wire (Alexander Hodge) who swept Jane off her feet before their relationship was upended by mental illness.
Another Hutchings rom-com, “The Hating Game,” also starred Hale. And like that workplace comedy, this too features locations that may stir some nostalgia: Bahr’s Landing restaurant, Keansburg Amusement Park and the Asbury Park music venue the Saint.
Based on the novel of the same name (by Julianna Baggott and Steve Almond, adapted by Keith Bunin), “Which Brings Me to You” is cleverly structured but often feels too crowded with the ghosts of lovers past. Then again, isn’t that the way with some of the most promising love affairs?
Which Brings Me to You
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 38 minutes. In theaters.