I’m Not in Love
The opening scene of I’m Not in Love braces viewers for a film of witty pace and cynical nature, as a father dives straight into telling young Rob he is leaving his unstable mother and their “life sentence” of a marriage. 30 years later, Rob (Al Weaver) is a nutritionist living with longterm girlfriend Marta (Cristina Catalina), who, at 37, is keen to get hitched before her ovaries pack it in. Unfortunately for her, Rob is not so keen. Taking questionable advice from his fellow lads leaves him doubting his love for Marta, which seemingly isn’t enough to surrender his deep-seated resistance to marriage.
From the outset, the film pays attention to the couple’s contrasting views of religion. Rob ridicules Marta’s “deluded hope” from his pessimistic and rather stale worldview. Despite being lovingly reminded by his girlfriend that there is no room for selfishness in being kind, he still wonders why people don’t see him as a good person. Ultimately the theme of faith is a means without end, doing little to enhance the narrative without the character depth to support it. Time that could have been spent delving further into the repercussions of Rob’s childhood experience, to make for a meaningful watch, is instead cluttered with irrelevant scenes of ghastly situations, including the sexual insecurities of his mates, which, frankly, viewers don’t want to know about.
The dialogue is the main weakness of this film. Generally, the acting appears staged with two-dimensional inflection, meaning scenes already lacking interest are without substance and personality too. The one exception is a ballsy waitress, but even she flirts with Rob by offering her inhaler while he chokes on a nut, which isn’t saying much. Rob recalls a sulky clown as he tiptoes around commitment in an apathetic daze, especially with a melancholic Parisian-esque backing track. It’s almost a pantomime with its absence of subtlety, which removes the opportunity to sympathise with the couples’ predicament.
It is wildly unclear what I’m Not in Love is trying to show, especially when a sandwich, a Danish sperm donor and a bible tossed on the floor form the cocktail that somehow results in a saved relationship. Aside from some fleeting comedy, the narrative is ultimately uninspiring, short of exactly the guts the protagonist lacks to bite the bullet and propose. The audience still don’t know whether Rob is really in love, but it’s also difficult to care. It’s a film that paints by numbers, attempting simplicity for effect but instead appearing half-hearted and too emotionally monotone to really engage with.
I’m Not in Love is released digitally on demand on 12th April 2021.