A family that destroys itself: director Russel Harbough chooses for his tragicomedy LOVE AFTER LOVE (2017) This well-known scenario and takes on Woody Allen-like features. We’ll reveal how the film turned out in our review.
The cast of “Love After Love” shines across the board.
The plot summary
Suzanne (Andie MacDowell) and Glenn (Gareth Williams) have been married for many years and are still as happy as the first day. Her two children, Nicholas (Chris O’Dowd) and Chris (James Adomian), would like to follow their parents as role models. But they only partially manage to steer their lives on a straight path. That doesn’t change when her father confronts her with the shock diagnosis of cancer and dies shortly afterwards. But Glenn’s death sets in motion a series of unforeseen events. Nicholas breaks up with his long-time girlfriend Rebecca (Juliet Rylance) and begins an affair with the younger Emilie (Dree Hemingway). Suzanne also finds a new soul mate surprisingly quickly and Chris advances his career as a stand-up comedian, but has to realize that not everyone finds him as funny as he finds himself…
Love After Love Movie Meaning & ending
When directors reunite families who have grown apart on the occasion of a tragic event, a lot of unsaid things, a lot of feelings and inevitably arguments come to the table. We know this from “Seven Damn Long Days” , “In August in Osage County” and Co. And yes, “Love After Love” is only a limited exception, although director and screenwriter Russell Harbaugh (“The Mend”) is involved its story starts a little earlier. In his star-studded, superbly acted tragicomedy, which celebrated its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017, he takes enough time to shed light on life before the stroke of fate – in this case the death of the beloved head of the family from cancer – just to to gradually escalate the situation based on the consequences. There are no really big hysterical outbursts. Even when his son Nicholas enjoys expressing his dissatisfaction with his mother’s new partner over dinner, he remains at room volume and blows away his dislike for his future stepfather with as much witty chutzpah as Woody Allen in his prime.
Nicholas (Chris O’Dowd) is overwhelmed by his father’s death.
Until that happens, “Love After Love” needs a lot of time to get out of the rut. The screenwriters Russell Harbaugh and Eric Mendelsohn (“3 Backyards”) delve so far into the everyday life of the family portrayed here that they can completely avoid exaggeration and dramatization. So you really feel like you’re taking part in Suzzanne and Glenn’s lives up close. Later, the focus is primarily on the two sons Nicholas and Chris. In doing so, the makers are specifically breaking away from the viewing habits of similar drama fare. “Love After Love” is not a second “August in Osage County” and despite the comparison to Woody Allen’s works, this reference is more due to the quality of the dialogue. Strictly speaking, even this comparison is only partially accurate. Even with Woody Allen, more happened. You have to like all of that, because from that point of view, not much is really happening on the screen: And yet “Love After Love” still has a very normal feature length of 92 minutes. Sitting down and leisure are required. But in the end you will still be rewarded. The acting performances of Andie MacDowell (“Now Way Out”) , Chris O’Dowd (“Juliet, Naked”) and Gareth Williams (“Women of the Century”) are particularly convincing here. Only through them do the differences within the family become truly tangible.
Because it is by no means negative to understand how “Love After Love” slows down in tempo and dynamics. Rather, this calmness is the concept. It’s impressive how calmly Russel Harbaugh stages moments that in other films would either turn into a big howl or a big laugh. When Nicholas talks to his ex-girlfriend, for example, about the reasons for the breakup, it is simply characterized by the same awkwardness with which we have probably rejected everyone at some point. And when Chris stands on stage at the end of the film and performs his solo program shaped by the events, the comedian who actually wants to shine becomes the epitome of the sad clown. But that’s just how joy and suffering lie together.
Conclusion: “Love After Love” is a staging-reduced “A family argues” film that impresses with strong actors, but for which you need a lot of leisure to fully immerse yourself in the scenario. But then you are rewarded, especially towards the end, with great, real-life dialogue.
“Love After Love” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from August 1st.