Love, Sex and Missed Connections
a kate west review
directed by Eric Kissack; produced by Lisa Rudin
written by Kenny Stevenson
Official website: http://missedconnectionsmovie.com/
Real-life married couple, the ridiculously talented Kenny Stevenson and Dorien Davies, have worked together a lot, mostly in comedy. So it makes perfect sense that they would make a funny romantic movie together (yup,a rom-com). They play a misguided pair suffering from the pains of recent break-ups in the delightful script by Stevenson, "Love, Sex and Missed Connections." Garnering film festival awards* from all over the country, this charming film stars friends, colleagues and their dog Zoe. And it is obviously a labor of love, judging from the very real chemical sparks between the two stars (and the fun everyone else seems to be having).
Neal (Stevenson) tries hopelessly to bury the nightmare of walking in on his girlfriend having sex with another guy. On their couch. His friends Barry and George try to drag him back to the dating world and get him right back on the 'ol saddle. Since nothing else seems to be working, Neal attempts their plan of responding to missed connections ads, pretending to be the guy lonely girls are searching for in order to take advantage of their disappointment when the real guy doesn't show. It works like a charm and he gets laid - a lot. That is, until he runs into Jane (Davies), who places fake ads to turn the tables on the opposite sex (it's complicated - but so is love, right?)
Funny things happen. Actually, pretty hilarious stuff. Since the cast has a background in comedy, they all know their way around one-liners. Shane Elliot and Alex Enriquez are hilarious as goofballs Barry and George, Avi Rothman is hilarious as friend Allan who sleeps with the ex Christine (Julie Mitchell) and appears naked in Neal's dreams, Stephanie Escajeda and Scott Beehner are hilarious as well-meaning awkward relatives Jillian and Daren, all of the missed connections are hilarious and those one-liners are definitely hilarious. And look out for minor characters with hilariously big encounters. But more than that, the underlying message of overcoming the crippling effects of a broken heart is touching and relatable. The zingers are nice and fun, but as they are supported by a sincere and heartfelt story, everything works. You laugh at the silly and root for the broken.
Director Eric Kissack puts together some nicely edited shots (and he's got the background to back that up) and Kenny Stevenson puts together a nicely written film, eliciting instant sympathy for the characters and holding our attention for the duration (it's 77 minutes, in case you were wondering). Stevenson and Davies shine as the lovelorn soul mates and are lovely to watch and cheer. There is not one wrong note here and the entire cast and crew is to be commended for a job well done and a story well told. Catch it live at a film festival near you, or at least watch it here.
Seriously, look how cute they all are:
*The Awards ... so far:
2013 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – Best Narrative Feature
2012 Naples International Film Festival – Indie Spirit Award
2012 New Hampshire Film Festival – Audience Award
2012 Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival - Best Of Fest
2012 Big Bear Lakes International Film Festival – Audience Award – Best Feature Film
2012 Traverse City Film Festival – Special Jury Prize – First Time Director
2012 Woods Hole Film Festival – Audience Award Best Comedy Feature
2012 Boston International Film Festival – Indie Spirit Story Line Award
2012 Cleveland International Film Festival – American Independent Award
2012 Indie Spirit Film Festival – Screener’s Choice Award
2012 Cinetopia International Film Festival – Cinetopia Laurels Award