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A Love Affair of Sorts: Film Review

The Bottom Line

Dull diary-film shoots for life/art profundity but misses by miles.

Director-producer

David Guy Levy

Screenwriters, cast

David Guy Levy, Lili Bordán

David Guy Levy's U.S. indie claims to be the first feature shot entirely on the palm-sized Flip camcorder.

NEW YORK — Cisco Systems, manufacturer of the bargain-basement Flip camcorder, recently announced it would stop making the popular device. Sadly, the move comes too late to prevent A Love Affair of Sorts, a tiresome truth/fiction mashup that claims to be the first feature shot entirely on the palm-sized cameras. Filmmaker David Guy Levy will be lucky to earn enough at the box office to pay for the two Flips used in production.

Masquerading as a kind of home movie-turned-documentary, the film presents Levy as a wannabe-artist dunce who is chronicling his every mundane act. (We've seen him blankly forking food into his chubby face twice by the ten-minute mark.) Then he encounters Enci, a Hungarian woman clumsily attempting to shoplift in a bookstore.

After an awkward meet-not-so-cute, Levy convinces Enci to collaborate on an ill-defined diaristic attempt to "show the deepest parts of ourselves": They will carry cameras with them everywhere, shooting at random (badly exposed scenes, out-of-frame faces and all) and trusting that art will emerge in post-production.

Early on, editor Azazel Jacobs inserts short out-of-continuity scenes suggesting the two protagonists aren't what they seem. Levy is aiming for heady commentary about art, life and techno-narcissism here, but the main effect is to kill any curiosity viewers might have about why this sexy immigrant is spending time with the dull, literally slack-jawed Levy: It's because she's not a Hungarian immigrant, but an American actress (Lili Bordán) willing to do anything for screen time.

Whether they're buying the conceit or not, viewers will groan at the hour and a half of shallow navel-gazing and sullen bickering that wrap around Love Affair's unsuccessful attempt to convince us that all this play-acting might be fostering real-world intimacy between the Flip-wielding filmmakers.

"Just to document yourself being bored is very boring," Enci says at one point. It's one moment of fiction here that rings all too true.

Opens: June 24 (Paladin)
Production Company: Periscope
Cast: Lili Bordán, David Guy Levy, Iván Kamarás, Jonathan Beckerman
Director-producer: David Guy Levy
Screenwriters: David Guy Levy, Lili Bordán
Executive producer: Mark Urman
Editor: Azazel Jacobs
No rating, 91 minutes