Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Truth About Romance (2013) Film Review
The Truth About Romance
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
Do you ever feel frustrated by the lack of realism in romantic films? The way everybody's rich and good looking, working in their dream job, sailing through life with just that one special something missing? First time feature director James Wall has attempted to address those problems with something that, for most viewers, will be much closer to home. The difficulty he has faced in doing so is one well known to directors of kitchen sink dramas - trying to make the ordinary interesting.
The hero of the film is Josh (Jordan Greenhough), whom we first meet as he splits up with a woman he hasn't even had a relationship with. Despairing of life in general he heads to his local park to sit and sulk on a bench, and there he is immediately approached by the vivacious and rather more glamorous Emily (Danielle Jackson). Although this sort of unlikely event is par for the course in the genre, it leaves us guessing at her motives in a way that ultimately leads to disappointment - suffice to say that the eventual explanation still isn't very convincing. Still, it enables us to embark on the main plot with no messing about, as Josh heads to Emily's party with his rubbish friend Chris (Craig Asquith) in tow.
For Josh it's the beginning of a thrilling weekend, but where will that weekend lead, and will he learn the right lessons from it? For Chris, the beneficiary of yet more unlikely female attention, it's part of an ongoing slide into self-destruction that will prompt him to question his approach to life, though as it turns out he has not so much a character arc as a character flatline.
The women's behaviour aside, this is indeed pretty realistic stuff, contesting cinematic assumptions about what romance ought to be. Unfortunately, for all his believability, Josh is such a dismal protagonist that it's hard to care about what happens to him and difficult to see why anyone else would. in the upbeat role, Jackson does her best to inject life into the film, and acquits herself fairly well despite some clumsily scripted quirkiness. And, um, that's about it.
Before you dismiss it, though, there's one more thing worth bearing in mind about this film, and that's that it was made for just £250. Granted, that's not quite Colin territory, but it's still less than the pre-production catering costs on most films. What's more, it really doesn't look like it. Where Wall falls down as a scriptwriter he shows more than average competence as a director and Mark Braithwaite's cinematography is excellent, making the most of props and locations. The technical side being where most small scale productions fall down, this is well worth paying attention to and indicates talents that deserve bigger opportunities in the future.
The film is available to watch on Youtube:Reviewed on: 22 Jul 2013