Movie Within a Movie Within a Movie in A Love Affair of Sorts


David (David Guy Levy) is a successful painter—judging from his home, not the canvases we see—alone for the holidays in Los Angeles. On the Flip Video camera he is using to self-document his dull life, he catches a young woman shoplifting. Assured David won’t turn her in, they become friendly, and Enci (Lili Bordán), who’s a Hungarian nanny, is recruited to collaborate and co-star in what is now a film about them, the mixed p.o.v. shots of which compose A Love Affair of Sorts. Guy Levy is a teddy-bearish schlub; Enci is a “10,” with an appropriately studly boyfriend (Iván Kamarás). David and Enci’s dynamic as co-directors is soon established: he, petting and fawning; she, coquettish but obviously disinterested. Threatening to take over the narrative are character breaks where Guy Levy and Bordán (accent dropped) appear as “themselves,” discussing the improvised project they’re working on playing David and Enci, and revealing a parallel unrequited emotional involvement in a behind-the-scenes real life that is no more or less credibly authentic. The performances are awkward enough to be valid, with several scenes amusingly near to veering into “amateur” porn territory, but Love Affair shows little ingenuity with its pocket-cam mobility. It is part of the film’s premise that the movies are only a pretext to serve personal needs. Given how little the murky finished product offers an outside audience, this comes across all too convincingly.