Review: ‘Love (Part One)’

A fresh, likeable comedy about the beginning, middle and end of a romance, "Love (Part One)" is a charming piece of froth that should hit the mark with young audiences who will see themselves reflected in the 25-year-olds' pains. The rare indie made without state subsidies, its anti-auteur stance makes sense, though viewers over 30 are likely to find the concept too cute for its own good.

A fresh, likeable comedy about the beginning, middle and end of a romance, “Love (Part One)” is seamlessly directed by four film-school grads who joined hands on their first feature. Among the most commercially viable of the new Argentinian crop, pic is a charming piece of froth that should hit the mark with young audiences who will see themselves reflected in the 25-year-olds’ pains. The rare indie made without state subsidies, its anti-auteur stance makes sense, though viewers over 30 are likely to find the concept too cute for its own good. Abroad, it could drum up some small-screen interest.

Attractive protags Leonora Balcarce and Luciano Caceres play Sofia, an office worker, and Pedro, a young hospital intern. Their chance meeting on a boat leads to a date, sex, love, cohabitation, fights and breaking up, all presented in the style of a pseudo-sociological case study. Chronicle of a modern couple’s rise and fall is cleverly narrated with off-screen commentary and illustrations showing the chemical basis of attraction. Balcarce and Caceres are adept at two-handed comedy. Gabriel Chwojnik’s original score stands out amid lively tech credits.

Love (Part One)

Argentina

Production

An El Pampero Cine production. Produced by Mariano Linas. Directed, written by Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui, Santiago Mitre, Juan Schnitman.

Crew

Camera (color, Betacam SP-to-35mm), Soledad Abot y Glenz, Martin Mohadeb, Soledad Rodriguez, Laura Caligiuri; editor, Andres Pepe Estrada; music, Gabriel Chwojnik; production designer, Nuri Garabano. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (national competition), April 19, 2004. Original title: El amor, primera parte. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Leonora Balcarce, Luciano Caceres.
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