Leonard departs for concert rehearsals during the day, leaving Jane alone to swim in her thoughts. However, when they are together, it's not as if she's receiving much intellectual nourishment. She waxes philosophically about David Foster Wallace, but he's more of a meat-and-potatoes type, quite literally in one occasion when he praises English steak in favor of Italian food. She decides to dive headfirst into the recordings of her late grandmother, whom she had interviewed regarding a life led amongst battlefields in Europe, one that, it's suggested, was filled with not so much love as exploration and experimentation. The boys, the boys.
Athletic and beautiful, Caleb is sensuality personified, his rogueish smile and terrible jokes revealing an intellectual curiosity seemingly alien to Jane. She is fresh-faced and youthful, porcelain but tough, too wise to immediately fall for him, but too green to deny his charms outright. Wielding her wedding ring as if it hails from Oa, she keeps this plucky boy at a distance, but he proves admirably fearless. He meets Leonard head-on, not resisting the urge to tone down his charm, not afraid to disagree with this older romantic rival. Leonard won't laugh at Jane's ego-deflating jokes, revealing himself to be a humorless prig, but Caleb gladly cackles. His youth almost feels permanent.
"While We Were Here" takes place in modern day, though its location, classical music score and fashion sense (it feels as if Leonard was conceived wearing a skinny black tie) scream a previous era. The intention is to mimic Italian Neo-realism, though "While We Were Here" stays concrete when it needs magic, it zigs where it should zag. Jane is too sensible, and Bosworth too smart an actress to ever suggest it would ever be a difficult decision, not so much Leonard versus Caleb, but rather a clash of ideals. As an affecting romance between a woman caught between two worlds, it very nearly sticks the landing. As a showcase for Ms. Bosworth, never better, it's often sublime. [B+]