Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Now Streaming: Spring (2015)

Spring (2015) - Directed by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead; Written by Benson; Starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Vanessa Bednar.

By Kenny Howell

Spring takes you down many roads, and veers off those from time to time, and that could have been a bad thing.

But it's not. At all. It ends up being a gloriously bizarre mix of genres, one that seems to flirt with others before settling into quite a sweet romantic conclusion.

Lou Taylor Pucci (who is surprisingly not awkward here) plays Evan, a young man with not much else going for him in the U.S. On a whim, he escapes to Italy. On the first day there, he meets a mysterious, quite attractive, woman who basically says lets get out of here right now and go have a little fun.

Most movies would then divulge into a male fantasy that either ends up with a movie long love story where the woman is an everyman ideal, or she really turns out to be a conman/murderer/monster/alien, etc.

While one of those is sort of true, we don't go straight that direction because Evan has an ounce of smarts. He is a young man in a foreign country by himself, and easily could be a mark. He tries to get the young woman, who we later find out is named Louise, to go on a date with him. She doesn't want to at first, but as he keeps running into her in the small Italian town, she eventually relents.

From there, they start to connect, but something is holding them back. I'll leave that to the viewing because it took me quite a bit off guard, but in a good way.

Filmmaker Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead could have taken this movie down several different paths, and lead you at times that they are going to do just that. But then they reign you back in with the grounding force of the movie, the relationship between Evan and Louise. The bizarre circumstances around the relationship is the real unique draw of the movie, and Benson and Moorhead don't want to get away from it, no matter how much traditional storytelling want them to do it. And the viewer is all the better for it.

Rating: ***1/2

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