Monday, October 12, 2009

Love Simple

Love Simple is an indie that's a romantic comedy with an ending, a real ending that resolves the story,not just a point in time when the film stops, a happy ending no less - is this possible? Before checking "indie" in your OED, take note. The other indie symptoms are all there: creative core of college pals; handheld camera; entire feature length film shot in 14 days with catering by Mom (bologna sandwich and lemonade anyone?). The result is well worth watching.

The primary romance features Adam and Seta. It might be love at first sight, but if truth is beauty, this is one ugly couple, as both lovers are lying through their teeth. Adam's a thirty-two year old undergrad living with his Dad. Seta is sick. Neither feels like facing the prospect of another quick dump. This could get treacly, especially given Seta's illness, but it's well paced and well played, particularly by Patrizia Hernandez, and the result is far more engaging than the average studio romance.

There's more love in the air here. Adam's pal Jesse has a one night stand with Seta's roomate Keith (Keith is the Brooklyn counterpart of a boy named Sue, played very capably as a comic straight man, er whatever, by Caitlin Fitzgerald.). Cynics Jesse and Keith then counsel Adam and Seta on the perils of romance while falling for each other. No spoiler alert lapse here, you will see this one coming from a mile away. Finally, Adam's life is on hold because he's caring for his sick father, a case of "simple" love that provides some interesting contrast.

The comedy is a little choppier than the romance, with more risk and greater potential. Writer/first time Director Mark Von Sternberg handles some gender reversal bits very deftly in the latter stages of the film, but the bro banter generally felt flat instead of funny. Several comic scenes were set up as potential diamonds, then mined for cubic zirconium. The visuals were consistently rewarding, but the funniest moments would have been better with a crisper set up and an occasional zinger. Only Israel Horowitz as James (Adam's father), seemed really at home delivering a humorous line. The comedy's not perfect, but promising. Several scenes were truly funny, even the cubic zirconium was pretty good and we will be forever grateful that Mr. Sternberg eschewed the Lucille Ball approach to the unmasking of Adam and Seta, settling for quick pain rather than a slow, and painfully unfunny, sequence of ever expanding embarrassment.

Love Simple is worth renting or seeing with a date. The trick is to find it. The linked site will have news on distribution.

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