Forev: LAFF Review

Forev Film Still - H 2013
An underpowered road-trip comedy that gets mired in predictability.

The DIY debut feature -- a road trip rom-com -- had its world premiere in competition at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

With a premise so slight it’s almost an afterthought, Molly Green and James Leffler’s rom-com Forev initially spins its wheels before unfolding predictably enough. The LAFF narrative competition entry could trade on that prestige for continued placement at similar indie-friendly fests and perhaps gain further exposure online.

L.A. apartment neighbors Sophie (Noel Wells) and Pete (Matt Mider) are on a first-name basis, but have little besides their proximity in common, despite Pete’s outsized crush on Sophie, who's appropriately enough, a struggling actress. After a drunken hookup goes embarrassingly wrong right in front of Pete, Sophie’s suddenly a lot kinder to her nice-guy neighbor. Although Pete welcomes the attention, he’s committed to driving to Phoenix to pick up his sister from university, and in a fit of compulsive clinginess, Sophie asks to ride along.

Their scattered, self-conscious road-trip banter eventually results in a harebrained plan to get married. Although initially it’s not quite clear whether the whole idea is really just a rather pitiful and misguided joke, the two attempt to play it straight, particularly when Pete’s straightlaced sorority-girl sister Jess (Amanda Bauer) begins looking for ways to scuttle the whole idea.

Bearing many of the familiar narrative and visual hallmarks of DIY productions, Green and Leffler’s talky, co-scripted feature can’t manage to generate many original ideas, and while they introduce some potentially quite comedic situations, the commitment (or perhaps the budget) to see them through is rarely apparent.

The principal actors appear similarly uninvolved in their irony-inflected roles, leaving the film with few other attributes to sustain interest. Shooting almost entirely exterior or using practical locations, production attributes are basic at best, with obvious lapses managing digital image quality.

Venue: Los Angeles Film Festival
Cast: Noel Wells, Matt Mider, Amanda Bauer
Directors-writers: Molly Green, James Leffler
Producers: Stephanie Dziczek, Meg Charlton
Executive producers: Kevin Charlton, Timothy Charlton
Director of photography: Robert M. Edgecomb
Music: Mychal Cohen
Editors: Molly Green, James Leffler
No rating, 88 minutes