In a summer of multi-million dollar sci fi smashes- Elysium, Oblivion, After Earth, etc.- it is refreshing to come across a movie like “The Truth About Romance”. A film that is hopeful and reminiscent of the free fall of youth, “The Truth About Romance” is where love and companionship take precedence over all to the point that it tears a person apart. This film pulls out the stops as it reveals the inner true feelings that exist from people on the outside of the relationship looking in, and the burning desire of freedom for those in a relationship looking out.
While the balance and intensity give the viewer a break, and the film doesn’t delve as deep as it could to show the loss of one’s love, Josh (played by the wide eyed, innocent Jordan Greenhough) plays the part of the heartbroken soul, searching for love, and finding it in unlikely places. The story centers on him falling for the outgoing Emily (Danielle Jackson) and being dragged by her across the scenic British countryside as he searches for the reasons to be himself. At the same time, his sidekick Chris (Craig Asquith) seeks freedom from his seemly normal relationship and finds the freedom through a secret he attempts to keep.
With an incredibly low budget ($256/ £200) and one 7D camera, Wall is to be applauded for his work. During his experience with the editing process, which he did himself, he stated on his website that he quit his retail job and focused his career in filmmaking- which is a step many independent filmmakers are familiar with. With the filming being completed in 14 days with a skeleton crew, the film definitely speaks a production value well above what is actually being quoted. Following the blossoming love of Josh and Emily, montages carry us through the hillsides and canals of England that are as green as Josh is to love. In comparison, Chris’ failing relationship carries us only through his household, and the viewer is left to feel claustrophobic and loneliness, rightly so.
While the film has many attributes that are excellent and dare I say original (including the original music score that sounds like it belongs on a soundtrack in stores everywhere), there are a few minor setbacks that remind the viewer that this is indeed an independent film. In the essence of having a skeleton crew, this became somewhat claustrophobic as the main characters are the only handful of people seen throughout the film. The story, while beautiful, filled with hope, and dripping with drama, lacked a sense of intensity. During a pivotal moment between the supporting couple, the conversation came off as a casual every day banter between two friends, not one that held the fate of the relationship. Overall, while the good moments were great, the balance was not there with the down moments.
The film has a traditional reality feel to it, one that leaves the viewer feeling hopeful, but not using the cheap, worn out ending that we see in too many films like this today. In this cultural climate, it is movies like “The Truth About Romance” that allows us to see the beauty in the little things, and appreciate the hard work that goes into it.