I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone reading this that breakups are the absolute worst. Especially if you’ve been with someone for a long time. At the outset of Lara Jean Gallagher’s Clementine, Karen (Otmara Marrero) is really going through a tough time recovering from her breakup with D (Sonya Walger). Karen met D, a well-known artist, when she was very young and D was much older. The two owned a dog together and shared a home.
Karen tries to get into D’s house to take their dog, Ramsey, but D has changed the locks. So, using breakup logic, she decides to travel from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest where D owns a lakehouse. The key is not in it’s usual hiding place so Karen breaks a window, hurting her hand in the process. I’m not sure what Karen’s objective is in going to D’s lakehouse but people often do seemingly insane things when they’re heartbroken.
“She has an immediate fondness for Karen, which helps Karen out of her anger and depression a bit.“
After being at D’s house for about a day, Karen meets a neighbor from across the lake named Lana (Sydney Sweeney). She’s young, but we’re not ever really sure how young. She also has an immediate fondness for Karen, which helps Karen out of her anger and depression a bit. The two become close over the period of a few days, learning more and more about each other as time goes on. Or do they? Are they both lying about certain aspects of their lives to impress the other?
Clementine not only captures the pseudo-psychosis that a lot of people experience post-breakup, it captures the essence of discovering who you are through your relationships with other people, and on your own. Another thing that stuck with me about this film is the fact that we often end up doing the very same things that hurt us to hurt other people— without even noticing.
“…a slow burning meditation on love and a character study of women in different stages of life.”
Clementine is a very real human story and moves at the speed of reality. It is not a fast paced caper, but rather a slow burning meditation on love and a character study of women in different stages of life. The locations in this film are idyllic and superbly shot by Andres Karu. The score to the film is great and the soundtrack features songs from Lightning Dust, including an extremely beautiful scene featuring the incredibly beautiful song “Antonia Jane”.
This film is certainly not for everyone, I could venture to be glib enough to say that your Fast and The Furious loving boyfriend might fall asleep during the film, but who cares. He’ll be missing out on a beautifully told, deeply personal story. Otherwise, for people who can dig the mumblecore.
Clementine (2019) Written and Directed by Lara Jean Gallagher. Starring Otmara Marrero, Sydney Sweeney, Will Brittain, Sonya Walger, Alissa Jessup, Chase Offerle, Samuel Summer, Lilian McNeil, and Ramsey. Clementine screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
7 out of 10 stars