Directed by: Christian Belz Parenteau.
Written by: Simon Boisvert.
LOVE OR LUST ( 2016 )
Relationships for many guys come always come down to the next pretty thing, which is just what the writer (Simon Boisvert) wants viewers of "Love Or Lust" to believe. Mark, (Simon Boisvert) is a likable, although somewhat isolated middle aged man looking for love. After a breakup with a much younger woman, he ends up connecting with an old flame and thus begins the real story that makes up the rest of the film. The interesting notion behind "Love Or Lust" is that it feels a lot grittier than your run of the mill romance, and has a less than story book ending. These aspects seem more solid, making the movie feel truer to real life. However, these very same concepts manage to turn in on themselves at times, giving this flick a truly clinical, emotionless feel when one shouldn't be present.
That's the main problem with "Love Or Lust", the sterile feeling one ends up with when watching certain segments. A feeling that the director (Christian Belz Parenteau) just couldn't seem to shake. A film based on emotion should present itself as such, with "Love Or Lust" however, it just moves from one emotionless scene to the next, leaving us with the perfect ending; another conquest from the leading man, proving he hasn't learned anything at all. Except maybe, and I quote: To not date a younger woman.
As an example of the vibe of the movie, let me bring up what should be, for most of us, a very emotional situation. Envision the break from a seven year relationship. You would expect tempers to flare, hurt or pain, or any kind of emotion really. With "Love Or Lust" we're treated to a 'matter of fact' styled conversation. Point by point and delivered as a monologue being read to a snoozing cat. Absent is any indication that these two people were a couple, who shared their lives together for such a long time. Absent is most all emotion. Making matters even more confusing is that the cast, at times, clearly show they have the ability to put on a good show. It's just never seemingly utilized when it should have been.
Emotion absent scenes aside, "Love Or Lust" has it's moments, as a man, there are numerous elements of the film I could at least relate with. I can't speak from a womanly perspective, but I expect the same could be said. It all comes down to this: As a film, I had no problem watching through to the end. I wasn't left watching the progress bar just hoping it would finish. This just wasn't a film I would still be talking about the next day. More a "Movie of the week" on your favorite cable network than an amazing indie film experience. I can tell you this though: The biggest problem with this movie was that the "dramatic problem" every film should have, never existed, up until the very end. There was no motive or drive, or dramatic situation to be resolved. The only real conflict comes at the end of the film, in the form of the ex girlfriend. This element should have be played out through the entire movie. Giving the lead character an emotional problem or situation to crumble to, or overcome. "Love Or Lust" gives us that problem, at the very end of the film, and wraps it up almost right away. So, basically, the entire film is about a new relationship, which is fine except... not only is there no comedy, there is also no drama. No reason to care. Having the "old girlfriend" as an ongoing issue through the film, and giving our lead some drama would have easily pushed this film well over the top. All the pieces were there, except the most important one.
"Love Or Lust" may not be the perfect movie, but does redeem itself with some excellent movie moments. I wasn't in a hurry for it to end, but I wasn't fully engulfed either. A pleasant film to look at? Sure. For an indie this one looked great! I simply felt a little more attention to the dramatic aspects could have really driven the romantic ones home.