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Red Wine and Rain

By Chris Esper | March 30, 2023

Love is one of the most powerful feelings in the universe. Yet, it is also one of the most hurtful. Likewise, breaking up is hard to do whether you’re on the receiving end or not. If infidelity is the reason for the breakup, it makes the pain even more potent. Two couples meet in a parking lot to settle a score in director Jennifer Marie Morgan’s short film, Red Wine and Rain.

Two couples meet face to face. On one side, there is James (Vincent Eclavea Jr.) and Kathy (Nina Gosiengfiao). Sophia (EII) and Danny (Koji Niiya) are on the other. James cheated on Sophia with Kathy, her best friend. Unfortunately, in getting with James, Kathy cheated on Danny. The four’s exchange begins as a firestorm, with Sophia angrily swinging for the fences toward her boyfriend and best friend. Danny, on the other hand, uses his sadness to confront Kathy. Despite the pain both parties feel, they have trouble letting go of their love.

Kathy and Danny recount a romantic evening at Mount Wilson, where Danny made dinner and had red wine. Meanwhile, Sophia and James recall a rainy evening going to the movies. Sophia remembers it as the first time she felt safe. In this exchange, she feels the most hurt from losing her boyfriend and best friend since third grade. Thus, the four ask themselves if they can hold on and let go simultaneously.

“Two couples meet in a parking lot to settle a score…”

Led by a cast of Asian-Pacific Americans, Red Wine and Rain is a beautiful film with much to say in its 17-minute runtime. The actors all do a terrific job of portraying pain and love. As played by EII, Sophia shows the strongest emotions given her situation. The actor is excellent in the role. The cast also benefits from the screenplay by Alexis Camins, whose dialogue is real and raw. Morgan’s direction is also strong in how the blocking of the camera and actors are handled in this single location.

If I had one criticism, it would be that the story doesn’t answer all the questions it poses. This leaves the ending a little too open-ended. That said, it does not derail the film. If anything, you want to know more.

Red Wine and Rain does a terrific job of showing the contrast between love and pain. On the one hand, love can be like red wine: sweet and delicate. But, on the other hand, pain can be like rain: heavy and stormy.

Red Wine and Rain (2023)

Directed: Jennifer Marie Morgan

Written: Alexis Camins

Starring: Vincent Eclavea Jr., Ell, Nina Gosiengfiao, Koji Niiya, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

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"…the actors all do a terrific job of portraying pain and love."

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