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Jovi & Lou

By Bobby LePire | May 1, 2023

What would you do to save a loved one on the brink of death? Would you kill strangers if it meant that person would for sure live to see another day? This unthinkable scenario is what the lead of writer-director Terry Spears’ drama-comedy-thriller Jovi & Lou faces.

Joey (Rhys Gillett) is a landscaper who works long hours. The pay isn’t the best, but he seems to enjoy the outdoor work. Joey is madly in love with his wife, Mary (Corrinne Mica), a public defender. Her career drives her batty, as getting offenders off due to technicalities takes its toll. They dream of saving enough money to buy a for-sale bed and breakfast.

Tragedy strikes when Mary crashes her car and winds up in a coma. Unfortunately, her accident was not one in reality, as the immortals Jovi (Victoria Strange) and Lou (Trevor Van Uden) have started playing their game for the souls of humans. Lou causes Mary’s mishap and then uses her waking up to convince Joey to murder three despicable people. If he does, the well-dressed devil guarantees Mary will wake up unharmed. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Jovi patiently waits to strike at the most opportune time. Will Joey murder for Mary, and if he does, is he damning his soul forever?

“…Jovi and Lou have started playing their game for the souls of humans.”

Jovi & Lou has a bit of a tone problem during its entire 77-minute runtime. For example, Joey receives the call about Mary’s coma at work. He’s understandably distraught and takes the company truck (mind you, he owns it), stranding his two lazy employees. Well, he leaves the cab open so its contents go spilling about. Then the scene continues as the other landscapers pull an umbrella out of hammerspace and set up a little lounge area in the parking lot. Unfortunately, these two moments don’t mesh well with each other, as the Vaudeville-like routine undercuts the emotional tension Joey is feeling. Things like this happen throughout.

That isn’t to imply the film is never appropriately funny or raises a few laughs. There’s a fantastic ongoing gag about Jesus Christ (Maurice Tillmon) that is hilarious. Lou’s self-assuredness is very amusing. A cameo in paradise involving Buddha (Jayanti Sharma) works like a charm as well.

The more dramatic side of Jovi & Lou works very well, even when rubbing up against the awkwardly placed comedy. There’s a lot of tension as Joey searches for and chases down his targets. When he goes after the less-than-holy Reverand Cain (Allan Wayne Anderson), the scene is quite thrilling. A lot of that has to do with the cast, who are quite game. Mica is sweet as the well-meaning lawyer. Gillett carries much of the emotional stakes and proves to have some decent comedic timing. Strange is wonderful as the ever-patient God, upon who flattery does not work. Van Uden is effortlessly charming and off-putting in equal measure. In the film’s best scene, he laments what a difficult job he was given and how he just wants a place to be revered. The way Van Uden and Strange play this sequence is perfect.

Jovi & Lou might be too comedic for its own good at times, which occasionally undercuts the emotions. But, thanks to an excellent cast and a very original, interesting story, the film still works more often than not. So, would you kill to save your loved one?

For more information about Jovi & Lou, visit the 19 Artists Development site.

Jovi & Lou (2023)

Directed and Written: Terry Spears

Starring: Rhys Gillett, Corrinne Mica, Victoria Strange, Trevor Van Uden, Maurice Tillmon, Jayanti Sharma, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Jovi & Lou Image

"…an excellent cast and a very original, interesting story..."

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