It’s All About Love (2003)

(On-demand, September 2012) When writers with no understanding or affection for science-fiction turn to the genre, the result is often a mixture of pretentious philosophy, incoherent fantasy and plot-free structure labeled SF in the misguided conviction that you can use the genre label to say anything without scrutiny.  So it is that in It’s All About Love’s near-future, we get a blend of human cloning, people dropping dead in public places, Uganda experiencing country-wide weightlessness, all water periodically transforming into ice.  These elements make no sense in a literal fashion, but trying to figure out the metaphorical link in-between those events and the on-screen adventures of a divorcing couple soon turns to indifference.  Who really cares when the film fails to achieve any kind of narrative momentum?  Deadened by terrible dialogue, dark cinematography, arthritic camera moves and major actors who seem stuck in roles they didn’t want, It’s All About Love mystifies more than it enlightens.  Joaquin Phoenix mangles an Italian accent while Claire Danes looks bored and Sean Penn seems to have shot all of his plane-bound scenes in half a day.  Mark Strong makes an impression in an early minor role, but the doubt remains: how did all those actors end up in this inert and ponderous film?  It’s All About Love keeps going long after it should have concluded, and writer/director Thomas Vinterberg doesn’t seem interested in making any part of his film accessible to the audience.  With this results (and that’s not even going into the now-legendary tales of the hostile reception the film got at Sundance in 2003), little wonder that It’s All About Love sank without a trace and can now be seen only by sheer happenstance.  Some movies are best forgotten.

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