Mark Webber Gets Earnest as Hell in The End of Love


Surviving on the periphery of Young Hollywood thanks, it seems, to his friendships with the likes of Ethan Hawke and Jason Ritter, Mark Webber has decided now to turn his low-boiling life-career into a handheld-realist autobio indie, centered on his precocious three-year-old son, Issac. In real life Webber separated from Issac’s mother, but in the film she’s dead and buried, injecting an undercurrent of grief into the day-to-day struggle of handling a yackety toddler while searching for film work (and failing). Everybody except love interest Shannyn Sossamon plays themselves (including a show-off Michael Cera, who, in the film’s most disarming moment, whips out a Glock during a house party). It’s the kind of indie in which shrugging naturalism means nobody has a distinctive personality or energy, and the claustrophobic sense of young Industry workers collarbone-deep into their own navels is hard to shake. For his part, Issac is too young to be acting, and so he is the movie’s most active and convincing character, however he may veer at times toward an oddness that suggests David Bennent in The Tin Drum. Earnest as hell, Webber’s definitely mourning something here: if not his son’s mother, then perhaps his own unstoppable slide into adulthood.

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