Magazine article Screen International

The End of Love

Magazine article Screen International

The End of Love

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Mark Webber. 2011. US. 90mins

Toddlers may be funny to watch on YouTube or in Hollywood comedies starring macho actors, but rarely do they make for substantive actors. But in his trenchant directorial debut, The End Of Love, actor Mark Webber performs alongside his two-year-old son, Isaac, capturing all the challenges, crying fits and playfulness of new parenting with remarkable acuity.

The End Of Love is well composed, more than the home movie it might first appear.

While the film is a sensitive slice of life about "Mark," an aspiring actor, trying to raise Isaac and come to grips with the death of the child's mother, it's the naturalistic performances and verite moments of father and son that make the film something special. The End Of Love is a small film, and will only crawl in the marketplace, but it's got heart and emotional truth. If given adequate critical support, it should have a life on ancillary markets, particularly if Webber (last seen in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) continues to climb in popularity.

Webber smartly frontloads the movie with the more comic experiences of raising a toddler, like trying to get a few extra minutes of sleep, arguing about what to eat for breakfast, or watching the youngster make a complete mess of himself. One early funny bit has Mark bringing his son to an audition, opposite starlet Amanda Seyfried (Chloe). While he tries to deliver his lines, Isaac constantly interrupts.

Further fleshing out the film's real-life Hollywood milieu, Seyfried is among many young stars playing versions of themselves in the film, from a friendly Jason Ritter (TV's Parenthood), who helps Mark with some much needed cash to a notably outrageous Michael Cera (Juno), who lives in a large glass house high on the hills, hosts Balderdash parties and waves a handgun around. While these cameos might help raise the profile of the film in the marketplace, they're more gimmicky than fulfilling. …

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