Friday, August 5, 2011

Love Story

I don't often mix up my professional and writing lives, but this little film is so completely wonderful I can't resist. It's going to be hard for some of you to find, but I urge you to persevere because this really is THE most charming and delightful film I've seen all year...


New Zealand 2011

Running Time: 90 minutes

Cast: Florian Habich, Frank Habich and the people of New York City

Director: Florian Habich

Screenplay: Florian Habich

Quite possibly the most delightful film of the year, Love Story is idiosyncratic director Florian Habich’s love letter to New York and its people. It is also a clever deconstruction of the filmmaking process as he discusses the film he’s making with his father in German via Skype, and with random strangers on the street.

Florian, playing himself, sees a beautiful woman on a subway platform, a delectable slice of red velvet cake in her hands. They speak and she suggests they take different trains and meet at Coney Island. She’s not there when Florian arrives and he wanders around, asking people about women and cake and the probability of meeting someone again in NYC.

Amazingly, they do manage to meet again, and the woman, Masha, agrees to be a part of his film. It’s here that the lines begin to blur between the film being created and the reality of a relationship developing between the pair. Florian uses the public to script his film, asking for plot developments from a group at a restaurant, or students at an all night drugstore, even leaping into an occupied cab in order to ask the woman occupant advice on courting.

Florian is so artless, you can’t help but follow. His father’s advice is taken, and some of the film’s funniest moments come when Florian tries to fit his dad’s commercial ideas into his quirky vision.

As the film nears completion, and Florian’s days in New York grow numbered, the ending becomes less and less clear, as does the reality of the relationship that appears to have developed between film maker and muse.

I loved this film. It had me walking around with a smile on my face all day after I saw it, and even now, just thinking about it gives me a warm tingle. It’s good natured, odd, unsettling and sweet all at the same time, and I seriously could not recommend it more highly. I’m not a good enough reviewer to do it justice, so just go see it for yourself and see if you can keep the grin from your lips as you exit the theatre.

Let me know if you find it. I tell me you didn't fall head over heels in love with it. Go on. I dare you....

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