Say what you will about this internet-obsessed world we live in, but you have to admit, it has done wonders for film distribution, and I’m not talking about the dreaded ‘p’ word. Zach Braff has used the love of his fans to build a successful Kickstarter project for his next directorial effort and an unknown filmmaker has just taken to YouTube to launch his feature debut.
Chances are, you’ve not heard of James G. Wall. He’s just a lad from Up North who has a dream – a dream to make movies. And over two weeks, with just a couple of hundred quid, he shot his first flick. After cutting his teeth on some pretty damn funny short films, he brought together his usual band of collaborators and set out to tell the world The Truth About Romance.
The film follows Josh and his friend Chris over a few weeks one summer. Josh is struggling to get over a relationship that never even started with his colleague who has just moved to Paris and Chris is stuck in a rut in a long-term relationship. After a chance encounter with a pretty girl (Emily) on a park bench, the lads head off to a party, in search of escape from their gloomy relationship statuses.
James G. Wall wrote, directed, edited and co-produced this film, and it’s clear he has great taste in films as his influences are scattered throughout. Emily is your typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl – a breath of fresh air for the uptight and reluctant Josh – doomed to leave his life as quickly as she entered it, but not before giving him a loud wake up call. Like Kate Hudson in Almost Famous and Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer, she’s pretty without being unattainable, and impulsive but not annoyingly pushy. Plus the music from Jacko Hooper is reminiscent of that by Alexi Murdoch in Away We Go, complimenting the narrative as we move from one date to the next.
Praise must to go to Wall for doing what so few people manage to do in relationship dramas of late – writing how young people actually speak. There’s no trying to get down with the kids, as he is the target demographic. There’s no cringe-worthy slang, every other word isn’t four letters long and his characters can hold a monologue without sounding wise beyond their years – it’s how Dawson’s Creek should have sounded.
The Truth About Romance is a pretty decent antidote to the cliched rom-coms Hollywood keeps churning out time and time again. It’s honest, outspoken and hopeful, without a cookie-cutter happy ending. Although there are a couple of plot points that niggled (I’ll keep this spoiler free, so watch it for yourself and have a chat with me in the comments section), overall it’s a refreshing take on a tired genre. Plus, it’s always great to see a British film set somewhere other than London, and without gangsters or chavs!
The Truth About Romance is available to view now in its entirety on Youtube. Watch it now and let me know what you think.