Transiency of life is captured especially in its downturns in resolute fashion in this deeply personal film from tyro filmmaker Russ Harbaugh.
Love After Love is framed with mortality and stars new sexagenarian (as well as cosmetics ad lady) veteran actress Andie MacDowell (Magic Mike XXL) who warms up to Harbaugh's fragmented, wistful style drawn from his own life and short film Rolling on the Floor Laughing.
Susanne (MacDowell) is the matriarch of an upstate New York clan connected to academia and the arts with two adult sons Nicholas (Chris O'Dowd of St. Vincent, Calvary) and Chris (comedian and impressionist James Adomian of Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) who undergo much following the passing of a husband and father.
The sons won't act their age after this unforeseen discord arrives and Suzanne tries to come to terms with what has occurred as misery, inebriation, and fooling around loves company.
The mood is predominantly manic in the struggle to achieve, arguing, liaisons, separations, and reparations. A tender buoyancy is possible after a period of storminess. Suzanne and Nick are heedful of each other's personal entanglements while younger Chris is noticeably adrift when instances can be nastiness, delicate or even optimal. MacDowell and O'Dowd compellingly play off one another as the former evinces an unvarnished luminescence in trying to make things right. All the while trying to manage the wretched looseness of her sons.
The way Nick proceeds in his milieu can be downright unpleasant thriving with indifference and disloyalty consciously or unconsciously adapting to his environmental stress. O'Dowd offers the kind of shading to this upsetting person that goes far to make for exacting, demanding cinema. With familial adoration bound to a crucial, heartrending turning point never lacking integrity or candor.
|Love After Love||B+||B+|