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When Love Comes

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When Love Comes
Directed by Garth Maxwell

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The title of this New Zealand–bred film derives from its fictional singer's late-'70s disco smash, "When Love Comes Along," but Katie Keen (Rena Owen) never managed to parlay resultant guest spots on The Love Boat into a lasting career. Twenty years later, married to shlumpy, loyal Eddie, the aging diva returns to her native New Zealand to pause and reflect. She soul-searches with old friend Stephen, who pines for a barter-free relationship with rent boy Mark, who writes angst-riddled lyrics ("Suck the hand that hits you/Kiss the boot that kicks you") for would-be rocker girls who could make a pretty good Cycle Sluts From Hell cover band if they didn't take themselves so seriously. The movie itself grapples with the importance of being earnest: witness our Mark scrunching that pensive surfer-boy face and declaring, "The love thing, it's weirder than you think." Not weird enough, in this case—despite Katie's late-inning forays into performance art (don't ask), in When Love Comes, solemnity breeds somnolence.

 
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