Shot digitally in two extended 40-minute takes, director Sam Neave's Almost in Love has audacity and theatrical immediacy working for it. There's also some really impressive sound design. And that's it, pretty much. The actors rise to the occasion, stunt-jumping over Stagecraft Canyon with adequately unbroken performances, but it's hard to avoid describing the characters as a bunch of boring, entitled drama queens. So in the interest of expediency: Jesus, these people are boring. In the film's first half, Sasha (Alex Karpovsky) throws a veranda party at his Staten Island condo, attended by a bunch of supposedly witty friends, including Mia (Marjan Neshat), the woman he secretly loves, and Kyle (Gary Wilmes) the best friend who once dated her even though he knew. Neave's camera drifts artfully through the party, conversations and laughter rising and fading like a rhythmic tide through the soundtrack. As written, Sasha and Mia are too passive to generate sympathy, and Mia is implausibly oblivious to the drama between Sasha and Kyle. Plus, why does Karpovsky spend so much time with his back to the camera? There's a boring quarrel, some revelations, and then a fade to the film's second act. It's the night of Sasha's wedding, in which he wanders through yet another party attended by all the same douchecanoes, plus Alan Cumming, who, against all odds, turns out to be the most obnoxious character. It's like the party that opens monster thriller Cloverfield, full of pampered, obtuse assholes, but way less sympathetic, and the monster never shows up.
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