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At moments while watching Float, one might want to reach into the screen and grab Waverly by the shoulders. Can she really be this stupid? Yes. And you’ll keep watching because, against all odds, Float manages to worm its way into your heart anyway. But it takes over an hour for that feeling to kick in fully. Like taking aspirin.

Waverly is played by Kim Convenience’s Andrea Bang; she’s sweet, shy, hesitant and often infuriating — young. This is a coming-of-age movie and we should probably have patience; however, there’s something a little off about this medical student who lived in Chicago and is about to go to Toronto for her residency. A pitstop at her aunt’s small-town home sparks an idea neither Waverly nor her tightly-wound conservative parents back in Taiwan would have ever thought of: Why not spend the summer with her aunt?

But there’s more to this movie than just one girl putting on the brakes of what will undoubtedly be a time-consuming career in medicine. Float is a coming-of-age film, but it’s also romantic. And for that we have hunky (often shirtless) “Upload” star Robbie Amell steaming up scenes and towering over his much shorter co-star. It’s like a summer read or a box of Valentine’s Day chocolate or a Ben & Jerry’s binge — simple-and-sweet indulgence kind of vibes. It gets predictable at times, but there’s something heartwarming underneath.

Directed by Sherren Lee, Float was written by Kate Marchant (based on her book), who also penned Whistleblower (a story about a journalism student who uncovers a scandal involving her head coach). That premise sounds better than this movie does right now … but we’re not going there yet. Marchant knows what young women like — they found their way into hearts and minds everywhere last night while snuggling up in bed with a summer tale about two potentially star-crossed lovers, thinking to themselves, “This is yummy. This goes down like The Notebook 2.0 with extra chocolate sauce.”

In the story, Waverly shows up on the doorstep of her aunt Rachel (Michelle Krusiec) in tranquil Tofino, British Columbia, not really knowing how she mustered up the courage to get there — she’s been studying medicine in Chicago and living solo; her parents dropped her off and headed back to Taiwan. Rachel welcomes her in; Waverly says she’ll stay for a few days (code for: I’ll be here all summer).

Not much happens in this movie. For nearly an hour actually. And sometimes significant turning points don’t pack the punch they deserve. Like when Waverly and Blake find themselves in a peculiar spot together. Blake is a lifeguard at the lake and community pool; he teaches Waverly how to swim. The film follows Waverly’s dilemma as she hasn’t told her parents that she’s staying at her more lenient aunt’s house — and Blake is dealing with his own frenzy after his parent’s death left him as the sole provider for his younger sister (Yellowjackets’ Sarah Desjardins). Both are stressed out and longing for connection.

Jesse LaVercombe and director Sherren Lee from Kim’s Convenience are given screenwriting credits with Kate Merchant. This troika or either one of these writers should create more so as to know what they still have in store for us. Float has great potential, but there’s something about the execution that sometimes goes astray. It seems like an odd combination of too many creative cooks in the kitchen. The film wants to hit some marks but seems to be holding back.

This might be intentional, because that is Waverly all summed up. The Kim’s Convenience star handles what she’s given with a rare kind of grace. Waverly is likable, even though sometimes it’s hard to buy into the character’s mental framework. Robbie Amell does better for himself, and if there is one thing to take away from this movie it is that Amell could very well become a big star. Between his turn in Upload — the surprisingly fresh and smart comedy that graced Prime Video — and appearances in The Flash and The Witcher, we’re just dying for this man to end up in a truly stellar rom-com (or action film).

But also, the film looks good! British Columbia is some lovely eye candy. And after you watch Waverly and Blake go through their personal dilemmas … something happens. You start feeling something for them — and this movie! I mean despite its wobbly spots, the filmmakers actually did something right: They made you care about what happened to these characters. So dive on in folks. The deep end here is … pretty deep.

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