Random Acts of Romance

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

Random Acts of Romance

Three couples enjoy dinner in a restaurant, all of them unconnected at this point, but as the movie unfolds, the connections between them are developed and become clear. You have the newlyweds, Robert (Robert Moloney) and Holly (Laura Bertram), who have already hit some problems, the student who ran away with his teacher, Matt (Zak Santiago) and Dianne (Amanda Tapping) and Richard (Ted Whittall), chauvinist, manipulator, and bachelor for life who’s just there to dump his girlfriend.

Everyone brings different problems to the table. Matt wants to be a chef, but has no training or the money to get it. His wife Dianne is a career woman who had to give up her dream job to be with him, and wonders how they’re going to pay the bills. Richard has a stalker that he can’t stop encouraging. Holly is stifled, but the marriage isn’t bad, just boring. Robert wants to make it work, but doesn’t realise that it can’t be fixed.

There are two problems. The film tries to be “wacky antic comedy,” with an apologetic kidnapping and basic breaking and entering, in this endeavour it fails. Its real strength is the meaner side of it. The distance between Robert and Holly and the arguments between Matt and Dianna hit much harder and are done much better than anything else in the film. Perhaps more focus could have paid to these scenes, rather than trying to be a sitcom with knifeplay and attempted murder. The film tries too hard to make everyone wacky and ditzy, so everyone is annoying, with the exception Tapping and Whittall, who bring serious bite to their scenes.

The other problem is the romance which develops between two of the characters who have nothing in common and which could easily be described as Stockholm syndrome, involving drugs, kidnapping and intimidation. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and director Katrin Bowen (winner of Best Debut at the 2011 Female Eye Film Festival) goes out of her way to establish that it is a mistake, but it is troubling.

Random Acts of Romance held its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Good, with flashes of brilliance, and a great cast.

Donal O’Connor
@RandomAORomance, @zaksantiago, @amandatapping, @twhittall, @RobertMoloney, @VIFFest, @FemaleEye

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