Judge Patrick Rogers feels life isn't exciting, unless you're feeling lovelorn about something.
"Even in death, love will reunite them."
I have two main theories I abide by when watching films. First, anything is instantly made better with a British accent. Second, the severity of stench that wafts out of poorly made DVD cases is in direct correlation to the quality of the film itself. Lovelorn proves the latter, but calls the former into question.
Lorna (Olivia Chappell, The Callback Queen) finds herself in an ethereal dreamscape, after slipping into a coma from a motorcycle accident that killed her boyfriend. Lorna's blowhard brother, John (Phillip James, The Drummond Will), determines he must travel into the afterlife to rescue his sister from Death, but Lorna kind of wants to find her dead boyfriend while she's there.
Lovelorn is one of those romance films which bills itself as a cerebral tale of love and family that transcends time and space. It wants to be poignant and important, touching you deeply with its themes of undying love, regret, and the persistence of the human spirit. The problem is it's a film that settles for mediocrity on every level. Whether it's stale acting worsened by community theater dialogue, brain dead editing, or incompetent direction, Lovelorn is a film that reaches far behind its station and ends up getting scorched.
The visions of the afterlife that writer/director Becky Preston dreams up are so pretentious and ridiculous you have to stifle laughter. For example, Charon—the ferryman of Greek mythology—is portrayed as an old man in a white robe pilfered from the bathroom section at Walmart. Even more absurd is the idea of Death as a suave Englishman in a black suit (oh so original) who moves about the frame in a sped up manner that would make even Zac Snyder sigh.
Lovelorn is a strange amalgamation of The Fountain and What Dreams May Come, lacking the genre bending auteurist vision of Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) and the visual sublimity of Vincent Ward (The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey). It's a film that deserves none of your attention, so going in to great detail about its faults would only be wasteful of my time and yours. If you want a cerebral love story that breaks down the stale conventions of the romance genre, this is not it.
Presented in standard definition 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen (having been shot in 2.35:1), this reformatted transfer is mediocre at best. The image is soft and noisy, colors are muted and murky, and there's not much in the way of detail. Half of this is due to the "vision" of the director, the other half is because it's a bad DVD. The Dolby 5.1 Surround audio is similarly flat and undynamic. However, we do get some bonus features: an audio commentary from Becky Preston, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, concept art, and the film's trailer. The problem is, none of it is very interesting.
So what does that leave us with? A half-baked, pseudo-intellectual romance that fails at everything it attempts.
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