Directed by: Elmer J. Howard
Written by: David Vernon
Length: 21 minutes
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Erik (Scott Olsen) and Martin (Allen Montes) have been a couple for 5 years. No small amount of time by any means, and for Erik, it's time to ask the big question. Would Martin fully commit and make the move into Erik's house. This happy announcement over a cold dinner, because Martin was very late, is not met with the enthusiasm Erik had hoped. Martin informs Erik he wanted to spread his wings before making the jump. See what else the world could offer him. Definitely not what Erik wants to hear; but Martin is a much younger man, and the request although painful, makes perfect sense to him. This is the last time the two see each other for a little while.
Fast forward until one night in late December, when Martin randomly stops by. Maybe there's hope for their relationship after all? Maybe it hasn't fizzled out and completely died. 5 years of history is a long time. Despite Martins confessions and promises, again he vanishes. Without spoiling the entire title, let me say that this second vanishing act is the inspiration for this short film. "Loving Martin" is based on a true story and by the time the title has run it's course, you'll understand why.
The dialog, writing and direction from Vernon and Howard are splendid. "Loving Martin" has a natural feeling about it, never seeming forced or pushed to it's conclusion. There were a few strange moments between the 2 men, but I think that was the point. For a 20 minute title, there's a lot of ground covered - and that brings me back again, to the feeling of not being rushed. Something I wish a lot of other film makers would do.
The dialog is nicely recorded and the camera work is solid. "Loving Martin" doesn't come across as cheap or micro; and although not anything stellar or amazing - it is a good looking film with a good story backing it. If anything, this title may have benefited from a slightly longer run time. Only if even a little.
"Loving Martin" is a real life film. It doesn't steer away from the flaws of it's characters and paints life for what it is sometimes. Messy. Hard, painful and messy. With some excellent performances within it's short length, this is a title I would recommend to a lot of my friends. A good well rounded short film. No question about that. Three stars.