HOLLYWOOD BLACK FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Derek (Jerry LaMothe, who also wrote and directed) can’t seem to catch a break. He’s out of work, and his longtime girlfriend has just abandoned him, leaving him in sole care of their son. Enter the oh-so-symbolically named Amour (Jamie Burton-Oare), a spirited and smart old friend of Derek’s, whom he encounters by chance one night. As they become reacquainted, they fall for each other; to paraphrase the film’s somber mood-setter of an opening song, she’s the other half that makes him whole. But even a friendship this strong and a love this pure may be doomed to not last.
As the synopsis and the title suggest, LaMothe’s film falls under the technical category of “romantic tearjerker,” and it indeed adheres to an old formula. That said, the term “tearjerker,” while apt, has too crass a connotation to really fit; the emotions it elicits are true and wholly earned. Films in which men fall for spunky women have become a subgenre unto themselves, but “Amour Infinity” gives it a fresh spin by not painting the man as some uptight and/or abrasive fellow. Derek is a well-meaning person, and his intelligence and good humor, not to mention natural human imperfection, prevent him from becoming bland–and likewise the film itself, which has its share of humorous moments, most courtesy of Derek’s often boorish friends, and some coming from the gently playful Derek-Amour pairing. There’s nothing inherently laughable, however, about the portrayal of the central relationship, which is made all the more believable by LaMothe and Burton-Oare’s natural rapport. Their chemistry is a reflection of the appealing, unforced quality that contributed to the film’s deserved win of the festival’s Audience Award.