Adapted from an English play titled I love you! …And you…and you, Mark of Love is a sweet independent film, which I enjoyed watching on a Thursday night along with a glass of wine and some chocolates.
Mark (Bryan Price) is a young man, very unlucky when it comes to relationships. When his latest one hits a wall, he decides to occupy his time by taking a karate class. However, there is no karate class; instead, a group of five women meet up every week, hoping to partake in a session of speed dating. The women are so desperate to get men, they pay Mark to give them advice. But it turns out, they might just be giving him more advice than he is giving them.
The plot line, for an independent film, is quite unusual; replace the lead actors with famous Hollywood faces and you could well be watching the latest Touchstone Pictures production. This is not a negative remark, at all! Simply an observation.
The style and camerawork of the film are so polished, the film has a mainstream feel, and not the expected typical, low-budget artsy esthetic. This makes the film, in my opinion, open to a much larger audience.
The film gets off to a rocky start, acting-wise that is. Some of the performances, such as Kelly Erin Decker’s who plays Lisa, the desperate females’ group leader, are a bit forced and unnatural. Thankfully Bryan Price, who plays the protagonist, brushes up his game and, after a rather unsteady start, his acting finally picks as the film goes along. His character is so human, you cannot feel detached from what is happening to him. Price surely is a raw talent, one that, with time, will mature into something very interesting and strong. In this film, he is the pillar that helps everything stand together. He has a charm and a little je ne sais quoi which makes him very enjoyable to watch; his chemistry on screen with actress Caitlin M. Schultz, who plays Claire, one of Mark’s exes, is remarkably believable. The rest of the cast is overall okay, with some being weaker than others.
Mark describes to the women his past relationships and these present themselves as flashbacks in the film. This made me think a lot of the 2008 film Definitely, Maybe starring Ryan Reynolds. The concept is similar, except instead of telling the story to his daughter, as Ryan Reynolds does in Definitely Maybe, Mark confides in five women he barely knows. And the comparison does not stop there; indeed, both endings are surprisingly alike. But this simply goes to prove that when it comes to making romantic comedies, the possible endings are usually quite restricted and all go towards approximately the same result, i.e. finding true love.
Although you will not be hit by an earth shattering storyline; like all good romantic comedies, Mark of Love entertains. Some of the lines might come out as cheesy, but this just adds to the charm. The actors are all likeable and the global esthetic of the movie is very polished. Altogether, the film is a cute rom-com, something good to watch when you are in need of an emotional pick me up. The genre of the film makes it available to a wider audience than the typical artsy independent film, so this is all to its advantage. If you are big on the romantic comedies, this will be a good addition to your collection. For everyone else, this is still a very pleasant film to sit through.
Mark of Love is distributed by Cinema Libre Studio and will be out in the US on DVD on July 26.