Love Is Not Love Image

Love Is Not Love

By Bobby LePire | February 27, 2020

At home, Frank’s life is less idyllic than when he sees the other woman. His wife, Paula (Louise Martin), has turned frigid towards him in recent years. She berates him over any small infraction, including him giving her wine she likes. The two actors try their damnedest but are unable to make their interactions feel like anything other a poorly written sitcom’s idea of what a bitter married couple would act like.

But there is one part that almost reclaims the thumping beat and driving energy of the opening. During a fight in the kitchen, Paula is yelling at Frank for one thing or another, and he cannot get a word in at all. This is because he is part of a kangaroo court, with a few women being judges who constantly gavel Frank down whenever he tries to speak. While it is saying nothing insightful about marriage or communication in a relationship, it is at least visualizing it in a very creative way.

The acting is a mixed bag. Oddly enough, it is Mills himself who comes across as the blandest here. He plays Frank as either a puppy love-stricken man or a dreary doormat without a spine. There is no in-between. The difference in how he plays those two modes is merely sped up talking. He makes for an instantly forgettable leading man.

“…characters’ relationships are not explored enough to have real depth, and the dialogue is either all cheesy platitudes or completely asinine…”

As Reyna, Gollas is quite good. She brings a certain grace and disarming charm to her character. This means that despite who she is being hard to discern, the audience likes and empathizes with Reyna. Martin is less assured but proves intermittently engaging. The thing is, I am just not sure how many actresses could pull off the numerous confusing emotional transitions the script requires and still keep their dignity. Martin does not succeed there, but she’s always up for trying, never dialing back the energy. And therein is the problem, as not every moment is big. So maybe don’t play to the back of the house the whole time, which she does.

Love Is Not Love shows brief flashes of creativity and originality. The problem is that an absolute folly surrounds those gems. The characters’ relationships are not explored enough to have real depth, and the dialogue is either all cheesy platitudes or completely asinine and pretentious. With a script that lacks anything to say, two-thirds of the main cast try their hardest but wind up floundering about.

Love Is Not Love (2020)

Directed and Written: Stephen Keep Mills

Starring: Stephen Keep Mills, Alejandra Gollas, Louise Martin, Russell Simpson, Cameron Tagge, Tonya Cornelisse, Cathy Shim, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

Love Is Not Love Image

"…confusing character connections and sitcom-style ideas of old married couples."

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