NO STRANGER THAN LOVE | REVIEW
Kernel Jordan reviews odd-humoured romcom NO STRANGER THAN LOVE from Eagle Entertainment. This one released onto home entertainment and all digital formats in Australia in 2016. JK is a bad editor, just found this and another review submitted from Jordan buried in my inbox. Better than late then never I hope. NO STRANGER THAN LOVE is rated MA15+ and runs for 89mins. Enjoy Jordan’s thoughts……all the best……JK.
NO STRANGER THAN LOVE is a very refreshing romantic comedy, as it is always nice to see this genre injected with a little something extra. And that something extra comes with a bizarre plot twist that happens very early on and sets the stage for the film. It is also one of those films that feels like it needs a second viewing. Some of the editing doesn’t seem right and some parts of the plot felt jarring. This isn’t a major issue though.
NO STRANGER THAN LOVE SYNOPSIS:
It is a very simple plot executed rather well, while making an interesting comment on how attractive women deal with men constantly hitting on them, Lucy Sherrington (Alison Brie) seems to have every man in her life under some sort of spell, though she isn’t exactly happy with the situation. Every man she comes across makes a comment about her looks, or how they love her intensely, and Lucy’s reactions are understandable. The way these men adore her is over-the-top, but this entire movie is over-the-top and exaggerated. I wouldn’t say this is surreal, but it certainly bends the rules of what is real.
Rewind back to the twist I mentioned. After dealing with these men in her life, she finds herself in love with a fellow teacher who has a wife. As the two rendezvous at Lucy’s house, mid-conversation Clint suddenly disappears, falling through a circular hole in the living room floor that has suddenly opened with no warning.
Lucy ventures into the basement to see what is happening, but she finds nothing. Clint yells out that he is floating, that there is no up or down. At first he seems to be enjoying it, as it sounds essentially similar to a flotation tank, which eliminates all external input (the senses), allowing the person to relax into their full potential. Clint soon becomes irritable and angry though, and despite Lucy buying a lot of rope, none of it seems to be long enough to reach Clint.
A SPANNER IN THE WORKS:
Throwing a spanner into the works is another possible love interest. The thing is though, this guy is looking for Clint. He is essentially a debt collector, and Clint needs to pay up. Caught in this situation, Lucy needs to decide what to do. Given that Clint is in a completely illogical situation, what follows is rather strange, with some massive leaps in logic, and as mentioned this film seems to be intentionally sensationalised. The men professing love to Lucy are numerous and humorous; and it’s that humour that is the best thing here. Not every joke lands, and the script isn’t particularly brilliant and doesn’t help in this regard, but there are plenty of laughs throughout as we explore this bizarre situation populated with quirky characters.
THE SECOND HALF:
The second half of NO STRANGER THAN LOVE is somewhat predictable and it isn’t close to the quality of the first half, as the story slows down and becomes a tad confusing. It also becomes less weird; I think they could have gotten much more than they did out the the random hole in the floor scenario.
The choice of music doesn’t help either; sentimental moments are often drowned out by excessive melancholic music, which is present for most of the film. Given this is a romantic comedy, this isn’t a good thing. Sentimentality is a fine line in films such as this, and the music tips some scenes over the edge into sentimental sappiness. But they aren’t plentiful, nor are they overly cringeworthy.
As NO STRANGER THAN LOVE doesn’t obey the laws of the universe, it seems like the team behind the movie have gotten most actors to really overact. Alison Brie does a decent job of shedding her innocent role in COMMUNITY, while Colin Hanks is excellent in the screentime he is given, again acting very different from his meek cop role in the first season of FARGO. Relatively unknown actor Justin Chatwin makes an impact too as the man looking for Clint, and his performance is the only one that is understated, clearly separating him from the rest of the men in the film. He isn’t the most decent man, but he seems to respect Lucy and women in general, which gives us a reason to like him and be invested in how his particular story will unfold.
Overall, NO STRANGER THAN LOVE is a clever concept that could have been executed better. The acting is on point, but the soundtrack and script are most certainly not. Again, the concept of being in a weightless hole, a cosmic womb of some sort, could have been explored much further, in a much deeper and spiritual fashion. However, the story revolves mostly around Lucy and the countless men who love her, so unfortunately we don’t see much of Clint after he falls into the hole. I suspect that this idea would have made for a fantastic movie in the right hands; but regardless this is still a decent debut feature film for newcomer Nick Wernham.
Jordan Dodd is an aspiring novelist hailing from Adelaide, Australia. His first book is a chronicle of his experiences in a rehab centre that was more of a cult than anything else, and his goal is to finish it and pitch it to someone who matters. It can be found here. He also enjoys writing about film, which is probably his biggest obsession (apart from writing). When not writing for Salty Popcorn Jordan has his own website – he can be contacted via www.epilepticmoondancer.net