Perhaps it's because of the inherent adorability of Mary (Poots) and Sam (Roberts), but in general "Comes A Bright Day" hews closer to the sweeter end of the spectrum, despite threatening us with the notion that the body count could rise at any moment. This mostly does not disrupt our enjoyment of the story, but it does put us in mind of a sweet, well brought up middle class kid trying to convince us of his badassery by wearing his jeans low and trailing chains from his belt: you kind of want to take the film aside and tell it it doesn't have to try so hard to be edgy, we like it for what it really is. This edginess is mostly down to the always reliable Kevin McKidd to engender, as the true psycho of the criminal duo, Cameron (in a jokey reference to British politics, the armed robbers choose the aliases Cameron and Clegg). And while the Virgin Mary-masked McKidd does some sterling work and creates the film's only moments of genuine menace, evenness of tone is not helped by a conceit which sees him occupy a different physical space from the rest of the cast for a large portion of the film. This means that the psychological journey he goes on is a solo one, and cutting to his troubled character fixating and fantasising feels jarring, the more so for the storytelling, getting-to-know-you vibe in the next room over.
If it weren't already obvious, the film's happy ending, in which everything works out really rather brilliantly for our young hero, lets slip its true intentions. With the sole exception of Cameron, everyone turns out to be decent -- lovely, in fact -- even a minor character who is the subject of a rather pointless reveal as to his familial relationship to one of our principals. It's narratively unnecessary, but not only is his goodness revealed to the audience, it is reiterated to Sam: this is a film that can't bear to have one of its beloved characters think badly of another for more than a minute or two. And if this impossibly neat, upbeat ending sells out the screenplay's edgier impulses entirely (spare a thought for the person who dies early on, valiantly sacrificing themselves for screenwriting purposes), it also give us pretty much what we want, by that stage: a lot of people we like taking care of each other. Maybe if the characters were darker, the romance more bittersweet or the thriller elements funnier, the various strands would more consistently meet in the middle and the gear changes wouldn't grind quite so much. As it is "Comes a Bright Day" struggles against, but then gives in to its better nature and emerges a fond, character-driven confection, in which the tartness of the premise is overpowered by the sweetness of its aftertaste. [B-]