Being Australian may hide me from the fact that not every Aussie film is a masterpiece, but to be honest, I'd much rather be blinded from that fact than aware of it. Love is Now follows the story of Dean (Eamon Farren), a young photographer trying to make it professionally. After posing as a famous photographer and sneaking into a private exhibition, Dean meets Audrey (Claire van der Boom), a fellow photographer who takes an interest in him. The two date and do the usual romance shenanigans, which includes the rather clichéd breaking into someplace you shouldn't and having a romantic moment at said place. It's here that Audrey tells Dean about a trip she once tried to go on, but never completed. Dean, hesitant at first, agrees to go on this trip, but it's this trip that brings out the secrets they've been hiding.
Love is Now may dwindle in its fair share of conventions, but it adds enough new layers to the table that this can be overlooked. The premise of the film is simple, the romanticisms have been done before but they're still charming, and the characters arcs aren't anything too special, but this film offers a lot more than that. It's not that any of those things are bad, it's more so that they're not overly original, but this is something I'm becoming more and more used to in the genre of romance. Romance is hard, I'll be honest. It's more restricting than most other genres and so I tend to be more lenient with how original they are. I can get over a few clichés every now and again.
The film's score is electric and hypnotic, although again, not the most original. It is, however, rather effective, and so that's all that really matters. Its only real problem is that it's hardly subtle. It's glaringly obvious and it tries to throw itself in your face, rather than let you sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. With the scores in films such as Interstellar, it blends into the scene. You know it's there, but it doesn't make its presence obvious. Love is Now doesn't do this.
The two leads handle the content in a mature and realistic manner. Although it's occasionally forced, a somewhat beautiful and distracting shot of the two in a fountain comes to mind, the two make it work. Claire van der Boom's presence was always welcome. She was likeable right from the get go. Eamon Farren, on the other hand, took a scene or two to get used to. I was on the edge about his performance for the first couple of scenes, but once Audrey was introduced, his performance soared.
The cinematography is absolutely gracious. Director Jim Lounsbury and cinematographer Anthony Jennings have managed to capture some truly mesmerising shots, and not just in the still frames taken by the leads, although those photos are incredible too. They make cinematography look easy. They make it look like a habit, rather than a hobby, and I guess that's my artsy way of saying it was fantastic.
With almost ten minutes before the final credits role, Love is Now utilises one final twist, and boy does it pack a punch. Of course, I won't spoil what happens, I'm not that type of guy, but it really hits hard. Twists like this have been done before, but Love is Now handles it in a less obvious way. It's unpredictable and is uncontrollably sad. Although I'm sure many know me as a cry baby when it comes to films, you'll be surprised to hear that I didn't cry. Yep, I actually controlled myself in this film. I can't say the same for a few other people in my cinema though.
To sum up, Love is Now may dwindle with a few clichés and conventions, but with some mature and realistic performances, gracious cinematography, an electric and hypnotic soundtrack and one final punch of a twist, the film works rather well.
3 1/2 Stars