Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits seems to suffer from the same ailment that Eat Pray Love did – or at least I’m assuming because I’ve not read either book – and that is that they just don’t translate to the screen.
It’s a complicated but simple and cliched story. Twenty-two year old lawyer Emilia has a crush on her married boss, Jack. Jack’s marriage is pretty much just a sham, only held onto for the sake of the son, William. They of course have an affair which leads to marriage break up and marriage to Emilia. They have a baby, but baby dies, Emilia struggles with loss, ex-wife teaches William to be nasty to her, Jack doesn’t see it, blah, blah, blah.
We join the story just after the death of the baby, and we’re introduced to the back-story as the film progresses. None of the actors really seem to want to own their roles, with Lisa Kudrow acting the same way she always acts, essentially reviving her role from Easy A. Natalie Portman and Scott Cohen seem to be only going through the motions with the only highlights coming from Charlie Tahan, who through playing William has some delightfully nasty things to say to Emilia.
The film progresses in a predictable manner, and with Emilia not able to let go of the guilt of loosing her baby and Jack only interested in his son’s well being, the two drift apart and finally separate. This is probably the defining moment of the film and seems to just about capture the realism that the film desperately wants to portray. It certainly sums up the film’s title; Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. But then the film – and this is probably true of the book – does a sugary sweet u-turn and makes things right between the two lovebirds, with the help of Jack’s angry ex, destroying any credibility the film may have had prior.
For the most part the film seems to want to serve as a warning for people not to get into relationships and certainly not to settle down into a loving dedicated life together – it seems this is an impossible pursuit. Only it isn’t, and in it’s own mixed up way, the film admits as much.
Confusing, dreary and lifeless.
Reviewed by: Jonathan