Finding love is easy when you’re one of the pretty people, but most of us aren’t. Celeste is a lonely outcast looking for love in Dennis Cahlo and Bethany Watson’s Lonely Hearts.
The loner Celeste (Bethany Watson) is isolated in her apartment, and the idea of “Getting out there” and finding love is a significant undertaking toward personal growth. Lonely Hearts opens with the words “You Are Enough” written in lipstick on her mirror, serving as her daily affirmation. We then slowly pan to her sitting on her bed, listening to a tape of a motivational speaker asking Celeste if she’s a snowcap or a mountain.
Sequestered away in her apartment…with her cat, Celeste attempts to find human connection without leaving her apartment. She “phones a friend”—a service that connects you with someone for conversation. She then goes on an online dating site, and as luck would have it—a connection is made.
“She then goes on an online dating site, and as luck would have it—a connection is made.”
Grabbing the bull by its horns, Celeste ventures out into the world. As she arrives at her date’s home, she follows a path of roses down into his dark basement, and everything changes.
Lonely Hearts is a film that changes expectations halfway through its narrative. It tells one story and takes a significant tonal shift in the second act to tell another. This change works best in the short film format because, in the end, you’re left going back to the first half of the film and connecting the dots. It works and has something interesting to say about making connections.
Along with a good story, Lonely Hearts is an actor’s piece as well. Bethany Watson is exceptional in creating the character of Celeste. She wisely keeps her grounded at the start, and for those of us who are not part of the pretty people party, her portrayal is authentic…and then the twist. For spoiler sake, I’ll say kudos to the rest of the cast.
Cahlo and Watson’s Lonely Hearts is an authentic story of a loner finding love and its slow, reflective start leads a dark, high energy twist of an end that worth waiting for.
"…a film that changes expectations halfway through its narrative."