An ambitious attempt to capture the lightning of love in a bottle, "Find Love" falls victim to implausible situations and a forced sense of romantic urgency. The universality of its central fantasy, however, might bring it exposure, especially on cable.

An ambitious attempt to capture the lightning of love in a bottle, “Find Love” falls victim to implausible situations and a forced sense of romantic urgency. The universality of its central fantasy, however, might bring it exposure, especially on cable.

Intimately shot — close-ups abound — “Find Love” finds two people in a North Carolina airport, both in serious stages of transition: The woman (Her, played by Alexie Gilmore) is deeply unhappy in her marriage, and en route to interview for an anchor position at a small-town television station. The man (He, Christian Camargo) is going to visit his aging father and fleeing emotionally from his girlfriend (Traci Dinwiddie), who has just announced her pregnancy. Him and Her are clearly heading for a midair collision.

Helmer Erica Dunton, who apparently worked without a traditional script, does some clever things with the dialogue. The heroine, for instance delivers her backstory while practicing her on-air delivery in the airport ladies room.

When the overly cruel station manager (Craig Scheffer) belittles her for thinking she could waltz into a job at his station with no experience and a lack of familiarity with the workings of a TV newsroom, it stumps the viewer, too. Why would she travel from New York City to North Carolina without someone having encouraged her to do so after having looked at her resume? It doesn’t make sense and it prompts the viewer to check out of the film.

“Find Love” looks a bit washed out and is abrupt in its leaps from plot point to plot point. Still, it’s well acted, although by performers with differing degrees of charisma. Gilmore is magnetic; Camargo less so. But what she sees in him — what anyone sees in him — can be chalked up to desperation, either because of a bad marriage (Her), or a desperate desire for one (Girlfriend). Come to think of it, how could Her visit Him’s family for dinner — where Her meets Girlfriend — without anyone asking Her name?

It’s frustrating: Helmer Dunton obviously has a love affair going on with romance, and comes close to defining the epiphany of erotic connection. As with most relationships, however, the best policy is to keep things simple.

Find Love

Production

A LasalleHolland presentation. Produced by Gill Holland, Matt Parker, Erica Dunton. Executive producer, Lillian Lasalle. Co-producer, Kyle Luker. Directed, written by Erica Dunton.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Alan Newcomb; editor, Olivier Bugge Coutte; music, Michael Tremante; production designer, Chad Keith; art director, Adam Willis; costume designer, Susan Oliver; sound, Alex Marclowski; associate producer, Jacob Campbell. Reviewed at Slamdance Film Festival, Jan. 20, 2006. Running time: 77 MIN.

With

Him - Christian Camargo Her - Alexie Gilmore Girlfriend - Traci Dinwiddie Station manager - Craig Scheffer
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