Framline 36: Elliot Loves
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Finding love in the big city is never easy. But it's always entertaining in this bouncy romantic comedy from first time feature director Terracino. Elliot is an earnest twenty-one year-old Dominican American looking for love in all the wrong places. Bubbling with wistful enthusiasm, Elliot attacks each day in search of Mr. Right, despite consistently frustrating results. Scenes of his tragicomedy missed love connections, combined with flashbacks to Elliot's childhood where he bonds with his young mother, a wide-eyed dreamer who fantasizes about winning the Price is Right and pulls her son out of school to watch soap operas.
Amidst a chaotic upbringing, including a colorful assortment of talkative relatives, young Elliot exhibits wisdom beyond his years. The juxtaposition of Elliot's past and present paints a sweet, complex character study of a young gay man trying to find love and meaning in the big city. Terracino boasts a distinctive, fresh filmmaking style that demands attention. Each scene explodes with the energy of an artist in full bloom as he masterfully combines a hip slice of modern day romance with colorful family dynamics. Wild visual nuances, surprising fantasy interludes and a non-traditional approach to just about every aspect of filmmaking make this a must see for connoisseurs of brave new cinema.
- BRENDAN PETERSON