In most movies, a remote mountain facility is a place where something scary or violent happens. The Overlook Hotel drove Jack Nicholson murderously mad in The Shining. At Minnie’s Haberdashery, the men in The Hateful Eight shot each other to death. The Swiss asylum in A Cure for Wellness was the site of ghastly medical experiments. And so on.
In Joe Duca’s Evergreen, by contrast, a mountain cabin provides the setting for a simple – yet deeply impactful – relationship drama. When the film opens, a young, unmarried couple named Paul (Tanner Kalina) and Gena (Amanda Maddox) is en route to Colorado’s Western Slope, where they plan to spend Christmas together on a large ranch.
It soon becomes apparent, however, that Paul and Gena’s relationship is in for trouble. Paul, we’re told, is a practicing Catholic who doesn’t like premarital sex. Gena, on the other hand, has no such qualms – and on this particular trip, she’s really hoping that they’ll get physically intimate.
“…on this particular trip, she’s really hoping that they’ll get physically intimate.”
On the first night, this disagreement about sex leads to a frustrating, almost-but-not-quite-sexual encounter. And during the arguments that consequently ensue, we gradually learn that Paul and Gena both carry emotional baggage from previous relationships. Paul is still getting over his past marriage to a woman named Cassie (Olivia Grace Applegate). Meanwhile, Gena hasn’t completely moved on from an affair she had with a married man named Dylan (David Bianchi).
"…a moving testament to love’s simultaneous preciousness and fragility."