LOVE SICK LOVE – SLIFF Review
Review by Dana Jung
Just when you thought it was safe to settle back and enjoy a nice indie romantic comedy full of witty and insightful commentary on the nature of modern relationships, along comes the new film LOVE SICK LOVE. This is a movie that goes from plot twist to plot twisted.
The story begins with Dori, an attractive woman in the big city, phoning her current love interest, Norman. It is immediately established (with some humorous assistance from a co-worker played by comedian Jim Gaffigan) that Norman is a player. He has an eye for the ladies, is sleeping with his ex, and regards Dori as ‘casual sex’ as the cliche goes. Dori obviously feels differently, and invites Norman away to a secluded country home for the weekend. Ignoring Dori’s clear signals of attachment, Norman accepts and is soon plunged into a single man’s nightmare of dating and demented holiday celebrations.
To give any more away would spoil the many surprises concocted by director Christian Charles and screenwriter Ryan Oxford. They are aided immensely by good performances from a talented cast. Matthew Settle , a TV vet with credits from BAND OF BROTHERS to GOSSIP GIRL, plays Norman as a smooth and confident skirt-chaser, eventually breaking down into a foul-mouthed loser. Also on hand are seasoned pros M. Emmett Walsh and Charlotte Rae delivering some pretty hilarious lines. But the movie really belongs to Swedish actress Katia Winter (currently seen in the new season of DEXTER) as Dori. The film begins and ends with her philosophical narration on love’s sometimes strange turns in modern times, and we immediately identify with her plight – and that of all single women. Winter’s performance is key to holding the entire movie together, and keeping the tone on an even keel that does not tip too far into either farce or oversentimentality, showing just the right amount of outrage at the lack of commitment in most people. Right through to the end, we are rooting for her to find happiness. An intriguing mix of funny, dark, and poignant, LOVE SICK LOVE turns the rom-com formula inside out, and dissects it with a sharp eye on the nature of love.
LOVE SICK LOVE screens a part of the St. Louis International Film Festival on Thursday, Nov 15th at 9:00pm at Webster U./Moore and Sunday, Nov 18th at 8:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre