“New York is such a magical place. You feel like anything can happen!”
Indeed, the creative forces behind the new romantic comedy Love, Repeat excel at making our beloved New York City look magical. The cinematography lovingly captures a pre-COVID Manhattan, utilizing the inimitable scenery of the Big Apple in winter when the pristine white snow covers a multitude of urban sins. As mentioned before, Love, Repeat is unabashedly a “rom com”. What makes this thoroughly delightful film stand out from other movies in the genre, however, is that Love, Repeat is from a distinctly male point of view. Yes, Virginia, men can be hopeless romantics too. That said, the freshly divorced protagonist of Love, Repeat soon learns that dating is an equal opportunity war for all singles, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, etc…. He also learns that in this war, the “weapons” are constantly evolving, and the new “rules of engagement” are strictly enforced. (As one character states, “You’re not supposed to talk about previous relationships until the third date!” Who knew?)
That aforementioned hopelessly romantic man is James (Bill Connington), a plainly handsome and smart urbanite who works as an editor of literary fiction. He’s bookish with a unique (Some may say “underappreciated”…) sense of humor. Throughout the movie, James openly shares his feelings with us about life, love, and everything in between via voice-over narration. Despite his openness with the lucky audience, however, James’ ex wife Barbara (Leenya Rideout) has divorced him–ironically, for not being open enough with his feelings. James, however, is not quite willing to accept that fact and is still very much in love with Barbara. He views her as a modern day Helen of Troy and does things like eating alone at restaurants where the two of them used to dine together. James’ optimism for any future reconciliation is challenged when he looks around at the people in his life: His high-maintenance best friends Chad (Marcus Ho) and Lavanya (Nandita Shenov) are splitting up. His parents (Carole Monferdini and Stu Richel) are separating. And, most challengingly of all, Barbara is getting serious with a more… shall we say, “showy” love interest named Frank (Leon Andrew Joseph). Rounding out the cast of “oh-so-New York” characters is James’ 11-year old son Chris (played by Maxwell Purushothaman, who’s a revelation), an 11-year old with an affinity for delightfully smart sarcasm and dating advice for his father: “Remember, we’re both geeks – but with a sexy edge!” Early on in the movie, Chris tells his dad, “I don’t know how much longer I can take this ‘amicable divorce’ thing!” He is hoping for his parents’ reconciliation. Will Chris get his wish? Will James get a second chance with Barbara? The audience does indeed find out, but not before we get to eavesdrop on James’ dating adventures (He aims for seven dates with seven women.), crash a hilariously PG-rated “anti-bachelor” party of sorts, and be a guest at the comedic climax of the film– which features not one but two women in wedding dresses…
Directed by Shelagh Carter, Love, Repeat is bolstered by the performance of its leading man Bill Connington, who uses his idiosyncratic comedy skills to their maximum effect. (Connington also wrote the screenplay.) The audience roots for James from the first frame. Connington is joined by a mix of realistic, fully nuanced characters as well as some colorfully over-the-top personalities; This is New York City, after all. As mentioned before, gorgeously shot New York City locations really elevate the film, as does the smart, sophisticated dialogue and sense of humor.
Love, Repeat is highly recommended for hopeless romantics and those who love them.
Love, Repeat is highly recommended for hopeless romantics and those who love them. (Yes, it’s worth repeating!)
Love, Repeat is now available on VOD and is coming to physical DVD this month. For more information, visit the movie’s official website at http://www.LoveRepeatFilm.com.