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STUDIO: Cinema Libre
RUNNING TIME: 90 min
- Commentary Track
- Behind-the-Scenes Documentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Eric Byler’s student film “Kenji’s Faith”
- Q&A with Eric Byler
Love’s a Bitch.
Director: Eric Byler
Writers: Eric Byler, Kimberly-Rose Wolter
Cinematographer: Robert Humphreys
Cast: Daniel Cariaga, Kimberly-Rose Wolter, Erik McDowell, Alix Koromzay
Tre moves back into his friend’s house after being dumped by his girlfriend. Here he meets Nina, a woman going through a divorce. After the two begin an affair, it throws a wrench in o the relationship between Tre’s best friend and his fiancé.
Tre is the third feature film from director Eric Byler, and continues his investigation into relationships and the problems they bring. Tre is a blusterous man, loud and obnoxious, who shows up at his best friend Gabe’s house asking for a place to stay. He has just been dumped by his girlfriend and needs a place to stay. He finds that his old room has been given to a girl named Nina, who is going through a divorce from her husband.
Nina and Tre, despite starting off as adversaries, soon begin to have an affair. This disturbs Gabe’s girlfriend Kakela, because she still doesn’t understand why Nina is getting divorced. The reason Nina gives is because her husband kissed another girl at a party for ten seconds. When questions arise to the validity of that reasoning, she counts to ten to demonstrate how long that really is. Kakela is dared by Tre to hold his hand for ten seconds and test Nina’s theory that ten seconds can change everything.
It is interesting to watch the scene where they hold hands for ten seconds, because it plays as you would see in a horror movie. It doesn’t play any different than when a girl looks into a mirror and says Candyman, Candyman, Candyman… It is a nicely staged scene that shadows the danger that this one incident brings throughout the story. This is not a horror movie, but the way people act throughout the movie are horrific and it all begins with this scene. I congratulate the filmmakers for the choices made in the construction of this scene.
The direction is pretty solid, and Byler creates some pretty nice shots. It looks really independent on occasion, but for a low budget indie, it comes across really well. Byler created what he calls an anti-romantic movie and he takes four characters and drives a giant wedge between each of them. All four actors are good in their roles but are very unlikable. These characters are people that you hope will destroy each other as if you enjoy watching a car wreck. In a movie like this, the character who is the most optimistic is the one who will be hurt the worst. Furthermore, the centerpiece of the cast is the character that damages his friends the most.
This is not a movie that will make you feel good at the end. This is a movie that will make you see the worst in people. The production values are solid and the story is dark. The end of this movie is very dark and disturbing. No one escapes this movie intact. Don’t see this movie with girl you like. See this with a girl you hope will never go out with you again.
There is an audio commentary that is very fun to listen to, as the cast talk about fun incidents that happened throughout the shoot. It is much more entertaining to listen to than the movie is to watch. With such a dark movie, this commentary was a very nice way to follow up the experience.
Tre: Behind the Scenes Documentary (20:31) is a making-of that discusses the movie with the cast and crew. It is better than most making of features, because the filmmakers talk about the how’s and why’s of the movie instead of just glad handing each other. There are three deleted scenes, two involving Gabe and the third just an extension of one already in the movie.
There is a Q&A with director Eric Byler about making the film, consisting of eight questions. There is also a radio interview with Byler (23:17) from Celluloid Dreams: The Movie Show.
Finally, there is a short film by Eric Byler. I love it when filmmakers add these to their DVDs, because it shows a little about their beginnings as a filmmaker and how they have progressed to this point. This short is called Kenji’s Faith and was made in 1994 when Byler was a student. It would be nominated for a Student Academy Award for Best Experimental Film.
5.2 out of 10