Review: ‘Love Story’

Brit docu "Love Story" is a behind-the-music history of the Los Angeles-based '60s psychedelic beat combo Love, whose cult following has mushroomed in recent years. Consequent lack of drama will keep "Love Story" from courting auds beyond the band's existing fan base and music-doc addicts.

Brit docu “Love Story” is a behind-the-music history of the Los Angeles-based ’60s psychedelic beat combo Love, which is reputedly American pop’s first racially integrated act of note, whose cult following has mushroomed in recent years. Debutant co-helmers Mike Kerry and Chris Hall coax frank, even sometimes bitter and bitchy, responses from Love’s members, but the emphasis is mostly on the music rather than rock ‘n’ roll high life. Consequent lack of drama will keep “Love Story” from courting auds beyond the band’s existing fan base and music-doc addicts.

Love’s story is told chronologically through a patchwork of talking-head interviews, especially with charismatic frontman Arthur Lee, who walks the filmmakers through the huge Hollywood mansion where they all lived at one point. Love’s heyday from the early ’60s to 1967 when they cut their great third album “Forever Changes,” occupies the bulk of docu’s running time. Less attention is paid to how it all went wrong, although heroin addiction for most of the members and Lee’s reluctance to tour (unlike their friends The Doors) are cited as two reasons. Tech credits are serviceable but not inspired.

Love Story

U.K.

Production

A Start Prods. production. (International sales: Start Prods., Upminster, U.K.) Produced by Mike Kerry, Chris Hall. Executive producers, Chris Hall, Mike Kerry, Dan Burn, Simon Robinson Directed by Mike Kerry, Chris Hall.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Simon Robinson; editors, Kim Gaster, Mark McBride, Joe Orr. Reviewed at London Film Festival (New British Cinema), Oct. 25, 2006. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Arthur Lee, Johnny Echols, Bryan Maclean, Kenny Forssi, Alban 'Snoopy' Pfisterer, Michael Stuart-Ware, John Fleckenstein, John Densmore, Jac Holzman.
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