Love Will Tear Us Apart
Writer/director Azure Valencia's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" starts comedically enough: Former best friends Adrian and Genevieve both get the heave-ho from Max, the two-timing object of their separate desires. Before this menage, when Adrian and Genevieve are not rivals and are otherwise too cool for lover angst, they are living the bohemian life in the made up salons of San Francisco, hanging out in cafes and judging the couples who walk by. "Look at them desperately clinging to each other," Genevieve sneers.
One day Adrian is reading and smoking in the park when a beautiful man in a red shirt cruises him; later, in the café, he stalks Genevieve. Max is the bi-bye player, and the screen goes from black and white to color when he enters a scene. How romantic is that?
We find out later that Adrian has halted his career as a burger cook and is writing a novel about the emptiness of love. He broods over his electric typewriter, smoking, drinking and listening to "Carmen" as he tries to write about romance and slings out lines like, "Every love story is a fiction." Genevieve is rehearsing, badly, the role of Gwendolyn for what looks like an amateur production of "The Importance of Being Earnest."
The faux pretentious lines in this high-lowbrow comedy, features stylish black and white cinematography by Ben Leon. Visually, Valencia has a good visual instincts and some of it even seems in homage to French New Wave filmmakers (shaken and stirred). But this movie is one hot auteurish mess, even with some promising style and goofy fun.
Valencia plays Adrian, and has the most fun in these exchanges. He reminds you a little of Sal Mineo and is otherwise very appealing when he says things like, "Do you think my hair lacks volume?" and "Neato mosquito" with a straight face.
Kaleigh Macchio as Genevieve is also gorgeous and has screen chemistry, but their charm wears off fast and they seem too distracted with their fabulous couture to bother to act. When they are running lines from Wilde, for instance, it points up that these performers can't do anything with their own anemic script. Max, played by August Roads, is no Jean-Paul Belmondo, but he's hot enough. Meanwhile, it's a good thing he's wearing red when he enters a scene.