Wednesday, May 04, 2011
FILM REVIEW: Romantics Anonymous (@Tribeca Film Festival)
When we are first introduced to the main characters, Jean-Rene and Angelique, we meet the people who help them blend into society and remain sane. Jean-Rene has a private therapist and Angelique has a support group. It was clever how Améris added these supporting characters to drive the story along, having the therapist assign Jean-Rene tasks that would help him open up, and reserving the support group as a confessional for Angelique's otherwise indiscernible feelings. My favorite assignment was when he was told to "touch one person." He spent several excruciating minutes trying to touch his employees on the shoulder, channeling Mr. Bean in the process. I also enjoyed any group session where a member was driven to tears after just introducing themself or simply fainting before they did. The physical comedy was perfectly balanced with the wordplay. And with every escalating step in their relationship, he got more physically campy and she got more accidentally humorous with her deadpan deliveries.
In the end, the audience is left realizing that, although they might not be quite so terrified of the world, they do understand what can be so frightening about falling in love. And they learn that it's a little less frightening when you find your match and rewrite the rules of romance.