Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Writer: Justin Benson
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Jeremy Gardner
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 01.05.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) has been taking care of his sick mother for a while, but after her death, he falls apart. That leads to him assaulting somebody in a bar fight and Evan facing criminal charges. His solution is to take his inheritance and go on a prolonged trip to Europe. After a few stops, he ends up in a small town in Italy where he meets Louise (Nadia Hilker) and immediately falls for her. Even though she shoots his first advances down, they end up spending a lot of time together. But there is more to Louise than meets the eye.
I have never seen Richard Linklater’s “Before”-Trilogy, but Spring is the worst nightmare iteration of what I imagine those films to be: a young man who thinks that he is incredibly wise and two people having conversations that drag on forever and that are shooting for depth, but end up being completely immature. I am not exaggerating when I say that I hated the film.
Spring is obviously supposed to be this epic love story: boy meets girl, they fall head over heels for each other and break with everything they ever knew, just to be together. Unfortunately that love story never took of for me. Evan is a creepy stalker personality who doesn’t accept a single boundary Louise sets for him – and is ultimately rewarded for that by having Louise also fall for him.
And Louise is basically the embodiment of the mysterious female. She is impervious and cold, apparently without reason. Then we discover that she does have a reason for keeping her distance – it’s her mysterious body that isn’t behaving as bodies should, that makes her irrational and a bit of a liability. And finally her weird body stops being weird because Louise gets pregnant. I mean, her monstrous body is literally transformed into a normal body by way of pregnancy.
That constructs a narrative where women are unfathomable beauties that you have to keep on pursuing and their mysterious bodies stop being mysterious when they finally fulfill their function: reproduction. Which has the added bonus of transforming the unfathomable beauty (who not only has no control over her body, she also has absolutely no say in whether or not she wants to reproduce) into a loving mother. [Okay, we don’t get to see that part, but the way it does end, it seems unimaginable that Louise wouldn’t be a wonderful mother and a loving wife to Evan.] Another side effect of that plot line is making me want to puke really hard. And all of that is supposed to happen within a week.
It doesn’t help either that nothing in the film has any consequences: Evan really badly assaults somebody – doesn’t matter. Louise kills somebody – doesn’t matter either. It happens, setting decision processes into motion and is never mentioned again. Neither does it help that the pseudo-scientific explanations for Louise are so incredibly stupid that I wanted to scream.
The film does have a couple of moments and both leads are not bad, even if stuck with that material. But that is far from enough to make me hate the film any less.