Apple TV+ has always been the standard for top-class streaming entertainment. Award-winning shows like Ted Lasso, Pachinko, Physical, and The Morning Show have solidified the platform as the home of the elite Hollywood A-Listers.
But as Apple TV+ attempts to keep up with the insatiable demand for content from the public and the quantity being churned out from other providers, it does run the risk of occasionally releasing a less-than-stellar movie.
In this case, that movie is Fingernails.
Starring Jessie Buckley and Riz Ahmed, alongside a supporting cast that includes Jeremy Allen White and Luke Wilson, Fingernails should be a thought-provoking movie given its central premise.
Unfortunately, something about it grates a little too much for it ever to be as wonderful as was intended.
What Is Fingernails About?
Set a little into the near future, scientists have created a controversial new technology to determine if your partner is ‘the one.' The person who loves you as much as you love them. The one you are destined to spend the rest of your life with.
And it involves fingernails. Yes, if you and your significant other want to know if you are ‘a match,' you do the test by having the fingernail of your choosing ripped out of your hand, where it is then whisked off, popped in a 1970s-style microwave to be analysed.
The machine then gives a 0%, 50% or 100% conclusion. Zero means neither person is in love, 50% means one of the two is in love, and 100% means you're golden.
In our story, Anna (Jessie Buckley, Men) and Ryan (Jeremy Allen White) are a 100% couple. Sadly, they are not 100% happy. Ryan has taken the result to mean that he doesn't have to try anymore, and Anna is still looking for a bit of adventure.
When she starts working at a love testing institute, she meets Amir (Riz Ahmed), another instructor, and it quickly becomes apparent that the two may have feelings for each other.
But the twist with the test is that it is not biologically possible to be matched with two people simultaneously. So, does she love Ryan, or does she love Amir?
Fingernail Official Trailer
Is Fingernails Worth Watching?
Here's the thing about Fingernails…big tick for the cast, an even bigger tick for the performances, particularly Riz Ahmed, who is just the epitome of sincere and earnest, and a big tick for the premise, even if the ‘finding your true love' trope has been done countless other times in the past.
Where the movie let itself down was in the actually aesthetic. Maybe it's just me, but the colour palette, which never, ever deviates, really began to get on my nerves.
It's like the director said: I love the colour of Jessie Buckley's hair, so we're going to build the entire colour scheme of the movie around it. So, every room, building, and scene is cloaked in muted orange/rust/navy/brown/cream.
And this is only broken by a pop of red in EVERY SINGLE SCENE. I mean, the production crew must have had a great time shoving a red balloon, cushion, lamp, poster, swimming cap or car into every conceivable square inch of the set.
The problem is that once you see it, you can never unsee it. So you invariably become distracted before you become frustrated at how annoying it is. It's quite possible that it was supposed to be a subliminal reflection of her love for both men in her life, in the same way that the office music is in French (it's romantic).
Does this ruin the film? If the rest of the movie was a 10 out of 10, I could have gotten past it.
But director Christos Nikou really leans into a flawed plot while sweeping the holes in it under the carpet. What we end up with is three relatively nice people in an occasionally underwhelming story.
Fingernails Film Cast
Jessie Buckley as Anna, Ryan's girlfriend who gets a new job at the love institute as a counselor for couples who want to match
Riz Ahmed as Amir, Anna's co-worker and love interest
Jeremy Allen White (The Bear) as Ryan, Anna's boyfriend
Luke Wilson as Duncan, Anna and Amir's boss
Christian Meer as Rob
Amanda Arcuri as Sally
Annie Murphy as Natasha, Amir's girlfriend (blink and you'll miss her!)
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