Sometimes in this business, I’m actually surprised. Surprised by the quality of a film, surprised when it turns out to be something I never expected, and, at least in this case, surprised by who was in it. This film has exactly two stars, and I recognized them immediately as soon as I got a good look at their faces, although, being a guy, I am rather ashamed to admit that. Why? Well the two stars of this film (and the only two people in it actually) are Gil Rogers and Tina Sloan, both of whom I watched for years on the soap opera, Guiding Light. Yeah yeah, I know. My mom used to watch it, and somehow I ended up watching it with her and I sort of kept watching it for years. Hey, gimme a break! Those things can really suck you in!
Anyway, they play a couple named Gil and Beverly. He’s 76 and she’s 67 (their real ages) and they’ve spent their entire lives loving each other and taking care of one another, but who now are facing a problem. See, Gil has been having bladder control problems at night, and after they’ve repeatedly had to get up in the middle of the night to shower, take off the sheets and clean the mattress, to the point that they actually have it down to a routine, Beverly finally confronts him with the fact that he’s going to have to start wearing adult diapers. The remainder of the film is about them both trying to deal with the issue, and Gil trying to make her understand how something like that is extremely hard on a man, while she comforts him and tries to be encouraging. Throughout the film, at various times, one of them will glance at a photo of them together when they were young, and they smile as they remember the good times, which in and of itself is almost enough to yank some tears out of your head, especially if you’re sentimental like I am.
This film is only about 17 minutes in length, but for anyone who’s married to someone they deeply love and has thought about what it’s going to be like confronting these issues as we get older, it’s a seriously emotional piece of work that’s brilliantly written by Evakay Favia, beautifully directed by Jay Bungay and presented in the most beautiful, heartfelt way by its two stars.
The quality of the production was absolutely amazing, but two things made it particularly so. The first was the music. It had some slow, mellow piano piece playing at the beginning, and later on, while they were cleaning the bed, there was no dialogue, but there was a really beautiful, slow and jazzy type of a song with just incredible vocals that sounded like something you’d have heard in the 30’s or 40’s playing. Musical selection and the use thereof is extremely important in a film, and I couldn’t begin to imagine how the musical selections or the use of the music at the appropriate times could have been any more flawlessly executed than it was in this film.
The second thing that really made this film work was that portions of it had no dialogue. It just had Gil and Beverly dealing with cleaning up his accident, showering, etc… This is a good lesson for other writers and film makers out there. You don’t have to fill every second of a film with dialogue. Sometimes it’s far better to allow your characters to be more introspective so the viewer can empathize with them on their own just by observing the small details like facial expression and body language.
I’m almost speechless when I think about how good this film was. I’m really shocked, because honestly I wasn’t looking all that forward to reviewing it. It sounded like just another drama, which is a genre I’m not all that big on, but I’m happy to say that I was utterly wrong in my assessment. This is an incredibly honest and beautiful film, and if you get the chance to see it, please make it a point to do so. I promise you, you’ll be thinking about it for a long time after.
If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.ohmylovethemovie.com.