Celibacy: A Love Story (2013) – By Josh Samford

Celibacy is an idea that is hotly debated among some folks. Whether it be for spiritual reasons or otherwise, for some of us, celibacy turns out to be a rather easy task, but for some others: it is among the most difficult prospects to ever imagine. Most of us enjoy physical love, but there are some of us who are completely infatuated by it. So much so that it defines their every move. So, the prospect of going without any sort of gratification would be rather difficult for almost anyone, but for some of us, it would be a nightmare. Celibacy: A Love Story showcases a rather ordinary couple who decide to abstain from all/most forms of intimacy for the month leading up to their wedding, and it turns out to be one of those aforementioned nightmares.

Shot in a faux-documentary format, the film attempts to showcase a very real approach to this premise. However, as a mockumentary, the film goes back and forth between presenting itself as a documentary and just presenting an elongated series of monologues. Rather than going into scenes using handheld, the majority of the scenes are split into random tripod shots where our two main characters speak directly to the screen. This alone does not deviate from mockumentary format, but so much of the film focuses on these two characters speaking that it begins to feel less like a documentary and more like a theatrical play. One could easily imagine these two characters standing on a stage with a curtain between them as they riff off of one another and deliver these long lines of dialogue.

The comedy is very focused during these long bits though. While the characters are presented as being dumb, most of their lines come across as being relatively witty. The jokes are clear and have distinct punchlines that come at a very rapid pace. In a Stephen Wright-esque fashion, the jokes are based around ironic ideas, hypocritical phrases, and silly one-liners. The performances and the writing certainly stand out. The two leads come across as very enthusiastic in their roles and their charisma helps the movie tremendously. While long conversations about blue balls may seem rather juvenile, the movie never comes across that way. Its strengths ultimately manage to overshadow its weaknesses, and along the way it manages to leave a quirky and fun impression on audience members. If you’d like to read more, you can click like on the official Facebook page.