Almost Love (2019)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Original title:  Sell By

USA, 2019Screenplay by Cinematography by Produced by , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by .  

A group of friends in New York City deal with life and love, and it’s only the four-billionth film to present this set-up but, luckily, actor turned director Mike Doyle’s dramedy manages a consistent tone that results in something, if not eternally memorable, at least worth seeing.  and are the seemingly perfect central couple whose relationship is suffering a great deal of pressure:  Evans is an artist who ghost-paints canvases that a snooty Manhattan cause celebre (played in a brief but marvelous cameo by ) takes credit for, and he’s having a crisis of ambition about it, while Prew makes a living on his personal fashion blog but longs to achieve more while forgetting to include his boyfriend in his plans. Their friend has started dating , who she discovers after their first date is homeless and tries to keep him around without being an urban snob about it, while , who is the most luminous in the film, has been married for years and learns that her husband is cheating on her.  Neither the writing nor the direction try too hard, allowing the performances to ease into the character’s issues with sensitivity as they examine the compromises that come with their stage of adulthood;  as you get older and life keeps removing options, how do you negotiate the line that constitutes a dealbreaker, and how can you be happy while settling for less than the grandiosity of your youthful ambitions.  It’s a happier movie than this makes it sound, but Doyle’s respect for the melancholy at the centre of even the most joyous situation makes it always feel smart.

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