Directed by: Jim Fields
Written by: Jim Fields
Genre: LGBT / Drama / Comedy
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LIFE AFTER EX
"Life After Ex" tells the story of the end of a marriage, the search for a new love, and finally the coupling with above mentioned new love. That is, of course, the fodder of countless romantic comedies in which the hero goes through the dating process. Potential mates and false starts are all included in the eighty five minute package. The difference is that the hero in "Life After Ex" is gay, and this is a romantic comedy involving men.
Dylan Holm (Nicklaus Knipe), a young web designer has split with his partner Steve (Spencer Wolfe), to whom he is married, when the couples life together finally falls apart. Seemingly because Steve has a major drug problem, among others. Since this film takes place before gay marriage became legal nation wide, Dylan must move to another city for a year in order to get a legal divorce. Once moved in to his new place, Dylan begins his search for a new boyfriend. The movie deals with the story and content in a pretty straightforward way and although sexually graphic, it's done tastefully and even manages to find some humor and warmth within the situations. It shows Dylan as a lonely, kind and intelligent person. The kind of leading character people tend to root for in movies. Unfortunately, Dylan also comes across as an overly needy and pampered soul. This does manage to help the audience to feel for him somewhat, but a stronger leading man, in my opinion, would have suited the part much better. We get to witness Dylan meet new friends, meet new potential lovers, get engaged and finally, in classic form, realize the man he was meant to be with was there all along. The classic romantic drama in near every way. Just what you think will happen in this movie is what ends up happening. Don't expect any shockers with this title.
However, this movie is sound in most of the right ways; it argues that love is just around the corner no matter who we are, and we just need to go out and find that right person. Or in this case, realize who that person is. Certainly this film has some deeper values than your typical rom-com, yet the staple stereo-typical characters also manage to find their way into Jim Field's universe. "Brock The Rock" (Joe DeSanti) is one such character. Although acted well enough, his character embodies the complete cliché you expect to see in this type of film. It would have been nice to have a somewhat different take, but I suppose people like this do exist in the real world. So it really wasn't a deal-breaker. I know people life Joe's character, so I can't really complain. The one place "Life After Ex" does manage to fall a little is with the character acting itself. I could take the easy road, and write it was the fault of the cast. I know however, that it was not. Numerous excellently acted scenes exist in this film, so I can't really blame the actors can I? Yet a good chunk of the dialog feels like it was being read off a page. So what do I think happened? I strongly suspect it was with the film edit itself. The way conversations were handled as the production was pieced together. In real life, conversations are messy things. Rarely does one person wait for the other to finish their sentence before stating a reply. Conversations overlap. Conversations are quick and snappy. The editor should have considered this and edited accordingly. As things sit right now, many of the conversations feel wooden. One, two... One, two. Sentence. Answer. Sentence. Answer. Thankfully, this feeling of a marching band doesn't take over the entire film. Yet it does happen more than a few times, and this greatly impacted my overall thoughts on the movie.
The handling of the relationship of Dylan and John (Justin Parker) was a high point for me. The initial passion, then braking and slow build of their relationship was great. It was all handled the way it should have been and we, the audience, get to reap the rewards. The chemistry of the actors felt spot on, and you'll find yourself groaning at the "thick headed" nature of Dylan, as the movie progresses. We may all know who the final couple will end up becoming, that doesn't make it any less interesting to watch unfold.
"Life After Ex" ended up being a fun little diversion that just might warm your heart a little. There may be nothing profound about the message it shines, yet at the same time it's a message we should all get loud and clear. Life is a fickle thing. Love even more-so. Most of the times we have to suffer the bad to appreciate the good. That's what makes life worth living. You can find the social pages for "Life After Ex" within our side-bar. Go ahead. Connect and follow. "Life After Ex" is a solid production with a good story backing it.