The film’s premise is loosely based on Alain de Botton’s On Love (Essays in Love in the United Kingdom). The novel is a blend of narrative and non-fiction format, in which the central character mulls over the true meaning of love and our behavior under its influence.
Going one step further, the film expands the protagonist’s (newcomer Brendan Patricks) love life to five women, to whom he is drafting a collective suicide note to at the beginning of the film. As he is writing the letter, the audience sees, in flashback sequences, the highs and lows of his romantic travails.
Julian Kemp cleverly interweaves the film’s narrative with de Botton’s philosophical observations in a series of quirky and enjoyable asides all dealing with love and fate. Instead of simply playing these flashbacks straight, the audience goes (literally) on a series of amusing rides representing each of the women in his life. By the end of the movie, we are brought back to the present with a “twist” that was a bit surprising, but cleverly executed.
The source material initially attracted me to this film. I am a fan of Status Anxiety, written by de Botton and On Love is presently on my reading list. Even if you do not have an interest in the central philosophical arguments presented in this film, a love for offbeat romantic comedies will suffice.
The only problem I foresee is where to see it. I was able to catch this film during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival but I am not sure about its wider theatrical release. I will try to keep readers posted as to any updates I receive regarding distribution of the film.
Cast & Credits
Primary Cast: Brendan Patricks, Naomie Harris, Jane March, Cécile Cassel, Kelly Adams, Edith Bukovics
Director: Julian Kemp
Screenwriter: Julian Kemp
Producer(s): Marion Pilowsky, David Willing, Michael Kelk
From the United Kingdom
Running Time: 87 minutes