Love After Love
Beyond generally strong performances cast-wide and the bizarre existential musings incited by Andie MacDowell playing Chris O’Dowd’s mother, the family drama Love After Love has little to offer.
The feature debut of Russell Harbaugh (co-writer of The Mend) offers minimal plot, opting instead to meander across an abstract timeline of what seems like a few years, over which Suzanne (MacDowell) and especially her sons Nicholas (O’Dowd) and Chris (James Adomian, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay) experience loss, new romantic relationships, infidelity and other immaturities.
While Suzanne’s reentry into the world of dating carries identifiable personal concerns, Love After Love both refreshingly and frustratingly keeps its distance from the source of the sons’ issues. Though it’s suggested that the declining health and eventual death of the family’s patriarch is the catalyst, Harbaugh and co-writer Eric Mendelsohn seem to be primarily saying that such roots are too complicated to rationalize or explain.
The dramas are captured with steady enough visuals and play out on their own schedule, often ceasing abruptly without resolution, but feel consistent with the film’s overall tone. The end result is similarly unfulfilling, though viewed as a glimpse at one clan’s struggles in the form of a sociological snapshot rather than a narrative film, the takeaways increase.
Grade: C-plus. Rated R. Now playing at Grail Moviehouse
(Photo: IFC Films)