I’ve watched a lot of films centered around some sort of romance. (7 to be exact) this year. Typically, guy meets girl, they have a fight, break up, get back together, and the credits roll. However, we’re in a weird year, so Around the Sun does something entirely different.
From the first moment, I was looking for that formula…but I didn’t find it. That’s because the film isn’t actually about romance, which still takes me for surprise almost a week after viewing. Instead, the film centers on the conceit is something I actually can’t get into at risk of spoiling the entire film. The closest I can get without actually spoiling the film is this synopsis:
Bernard (Genthin Anthony), a film location scout, tours a repossessed and crumbling French chateau. Over the course of the afternoon, he slowly falls for both the place and its owner’s flirtatious representative, Maggie (Cara Theobold), who recounts the story of an influential popular-science book written and set there. But is their present-tense connection for real, or just a projection of the book’s 17th-century characters?
This connection is explored through talks centering around the book written there, and not much else. The script by Jonathan Kiefer is horribly overwritten. The dialogue is unnatural and completely unrealistic for the situation provided in the film, becoming grating by the ending.
I really wish it wasn’t, though. There’s a great concept within the script, with the actors really getting to play around with an interpretation of a sentence or glance that is rare in most romantic dramas. While the actors do make the experience watchable, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that this was adapted from a stage play and adapted into a film. Any sense of interest that is gained from a scene is immediately stolen by the fact that we don’t get enough time to think about what’s happening and why before the next scene starts, especially towards the ending.
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