Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Helena from the Wedding

Initially Published Here

The Film Movement series is an interesting concept. The company collects independent films from all over the world and makes them available on DVD primarily by means of a monthly subscription. You get to feel a little like a patron of the arts and each month a little gift shows up in your mailbox. Alas, I have to hope that the majority of the films are better than this simplistic marital drama.

A newly married couple invite a small group of friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a secluded rustic cabin. Everyone has their own unique strife to contend with -- there’s the passionate couple who only stop fighting long enough to have noisy sex (comedy here consists of their friends looking into the distance awkwardly while listening to them get it on). Then there’s the Type-A lawyer whose wife is about to have a baby and is questioning her husband’s fidelity. And of course the newly divorced friend who puts the moves on Helena, the only other single person at the party. They break off into pairs or small groups, reveal their doubts to one another and move on to the next earnest conversation. But first-time writer/director Joseph Infantolino has nothing new or interesting to say and while the actors are all pleasant (and recognizable as supporting TV players), they don’t have much to do here. The film aims for low-key and winds up just being dull.

The disc itself is relatively bare bones. A few cast interviews and trailers for other available films in the series. There’s no subtitle option (English or otherwise) which is a shame for such a talky little film. As a nice touch the disc also includes an unrelated short film, this one from Sweden (Awaiting Examination). Sadly, it is also fairly ho-hum.

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