Presumably the best is yet to come for the cast and crew of “The Best of Me,” a shoulder-shrugging liver transplant tale from freshman helmer Roser Aguilar that plays like a standard TV movie. Made under the auspices of the Catalan film school (ESCAC) and its production arm, Escandalo Films, pic is the first project under their Opera Prima heading, designed to bring together students with established alumni. Too bad they chose a Locarno competition slot to launch this well-made but essentially smallscreen love story with a standard medical twist. Prognosis for further travel is negative.
Early scenes are pic’s best, nicely developing the playful relationship between budding lovers Raquel (Marian Alvarez) and Tomas (Juan Sanz). Soon after they move in together, Tomas collapses and is told he needs a liver transplant; Raquel steps up to bat and offers part of hers, followed by the usual “I don’t deserve you” discussions, questions of true love and commitment jitters. Script seems afraid to take on more characters: Raquel’s lack of friends, not to mention her undeveloped parents, leave unsatisfying gaps. Luckily, leads have charm, and lensing is blandly attractive.
— Jay Weissberg