Stars Dale Dickey and Wes Studi, A Love Song is the directorial debut feature of American filmmaker Max Walker-Silverman. Set in a quiet campsite in Colorado, the film sees two childhood sweethearts, Faye (Dickey) and Lito (Studi), reconnecting after several years apart.
When the film opens across a lake, Faye is contently staying by the lake in her trailer. With a bevvy of fresh seafood on her front porch and an uninterrupted vista of the surrounding landscape, she doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. Yet despite the eclectic characters that pass by such as the young mailman or a group of shovel-wielding locals headed by a headstrong little girl, she is evidently lonely and constantly keeps a close eye on the horizon for a particular someone – namely Lito, who arrives with a shy smile and a bunch of flowers.
Despite its quite clear title, A Love Song doesn’t fully introduce itself as a romance. Instead, Walker-Silverman incorporates a slow pace and sparse dialogue, which prevent the film from finding its feet while certain deadpan shots threaten to mislabel it as an offbeat comedy. Although Lito’s timely appearance helps A Love Song to finally establish itself and its key selling point, notably the relationship between its two protagonists, so the narrative ends up meandering through a melancholic and overly contemplative sea of loss, insecurity and desolation – characteristics reinforced by Walker-Silverman’s intimate direction and Alfonso Herrera Salcedo’s cinematography.
But thanks to the nuanced performances and endearing chemistry between Dickey and Studi, A Love Song becomes a slow-burning journey into rediscovering lost love and happiness. After such a long time apart – during which they both had gotten married to different people – there is an unsurprising awkwardness between Lito and Faye, so they seemingly respect each other’s space while trying to enjoy the company of a familiar face. By nightfall, the audiences soon see that their childhood memories and the quiet grieving of their respective partners are the only things that have in common, which ultimately fills the growing void of uncomfortable silence. The resulting combination of their pasts and mutual shyness and respect around each other softens the romantic undertones of this reunion. So instead of kisses and cuddles, Lito and Faye discover a source of comfort that complements the tender and mature direction.
Overall, A Love Song has a heartfelt premise with two engaging leads and a minimalism that pays homage to old-fashioned romance. Unfortunately, its inconsistent pace and general quietness may not win over those unnerved by the concept of loneliness.
Director: [DIRECTOR], [SCREENWRITER]
Stars: [NAME], [NAME]
Runtime: [XX] minutes