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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 06.28.10] movie review news drama romance

Year: 2010
Director: Jamie Heinrich
Writer: Joseph Whitmarsh
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 7 out of 10

[Editor's note: This review is based on a work in progress.]

Good music goes a long way to win points with me. Give me a film with an assortment of great music and even if the film itself sucks, I’m much more likely to pay attention. In reality though, Jamie Heinrich’s I Like You doesn’t require much help in the getting attention category because the film, as indicated by the trailer, is gorgeous.

It never ceases to amaze me how films about high-school still manage to be entertaining. considering the sheer number of them which are released every year, all with varying degrees of success. While Hollywood concentrates on the raunchy comedies, indie productions find and develop small personal stories and Heinrich’s film falls squarely in the latter category. Shot with the help of industry friends, volunteers and a skeleton crew over a four month period, I Like You is a story of teenage love and the road to adulthood.

Avery is a music lover, a guy who likes hanging out with his friends and getting into a bit of trouble, the kind that guys after a few drinks usually get themselves into. And then he sees Parker. She’s new, cute and seems to like Avery. Spurred on by her apparent interest, Avery pursues Parker, falls for her and in the process loses his friends and even takes a beating from Parker’s loser of a boyfriend. Yet through it all, Avery stays true to the cause and continues to pursue Parker and this is the key to Heinrich’s film. Writer Joseph Whitmarsh gives us a story of love that feels authentic even if its perpetually uncool. And that’s the charm: Avery isn’t the coolest kid on the block but he’s true to himself and his feelings and that is not something commonly seen on screen.

The acting is nothing to write home about but Mike Benna brings an innocence and naiveté to his role as Avery that starts to grown on you and while I didn’t care for the rest of the performances, all of which are forced and occasionally even laughable, there’s magic between Benna and Parker Peterson as Parker and it’s the chemistry between them that keeps the films moving forward (let’s face it, a romance story without sparks is going nowhere fast).

The film’s other major strengths are the editing and cinematography. The film is gorgeously captured by Ryan Baker and many of the film’s most beautiful moments are then presented with music to full effect by Heinrich who also doubles as the film’s editor. Though it feels like a bit of overkill, the images and music are so effective that one almost forgets that a music montage just wrapped two minutes ago and though the choice to use so many isn’t particularly helpful to the advancement of the story, they’re beautifully conceived and rendered making much less of a distraction.

I Like You isn’t without it’s share of problems but none are so glaring that they’re detrimental to the story or one’s enjoyment of the film. The production team here shows a huge amount of collective talent and though not yet en par with Gus Van Sant’s best work (for me that being Paranoid Park), this is the closest I’ve seen anyone come and that’s exciting.

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admlk (11 years ago) Reply

know when it's being released ? or know where i can get in on watch the screener that you guys have :D ?


Honey (10 years ago) Reply

Soundtrack listing please!


sdfghjkl (9 years ago) Reply

i cant find this movie anywhere :"( i watched it once on hulu and loved it & now its gone & i cant find it anywhere :/

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