Severely Indie Spotlight: "Look At Me Again"

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Microbudget master James Christopher’s Look At Me Again is the latest in his series of solid character studies about twenty- and thirty-somethings, relationships, love and friendship. It's he story of three sisters who face various difficulties in their personal and romantic lives struggle to hold everything together. Christopher, who’s directed a variety of films, most of which are comedic efforts, really stretches his legs by focusing the narrative on the drama and honesty surrounding these women’s lives. You’ll find that the theme of “honesty” plays a huge role both in this review and in the film itself.

Christopher’s company, Twitchy Dolphin, is fantastic when it comes to utilizing the same talent over and over again. You’d think, after seeing the same performers in various films, one would burn out on the faces, but in the case of Christopher’s films, there’s no burnout. Stephanie Dunbar (Sherry) is remarkable as a woman struggling with her husband, infidelity and the loss of intimacy that we all seemingly face the older we get. Look At Me Again is a beautiful portrait that allows Dunbar to really showcase her full range. It helps that she’s a knockout in that girl-next-door kinda’ way that pretty much every dude on the planet would melt for. Watching her husband, Liam, essentially ruin something just about any guy would kill for isn’t unlike watching Glen Gulia break Drew Barrymore’s heart in The Wedding Singer. The relationships and performances, all around, are real. Derick Morris, who plays Liam, is steely and reserved, but displays some intensity at times. He’s the perfect “asshole” dude normal schmucks like me love to hate. Gulia, Sack Lodge in Wedding Crashers, Liam in Look At Me Again. Total douches, worthy of the hate.

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It’s hard judging Christopher’s works. Though the themes are often different, the narratives cover different genres, the films all have one core element that is often missing in indie film: honesty. I reviewed a movie a while back that feels like the emotional and comedic soulmate to Look At Me Again, and even though I didn’t give that film a glowing review, I see that it’d make a perfect bookend for a night of honest romantic comedy. The film was Alpha Males Experiment, by the way, and though a comedy at its core, it functions in the same capacity as Look At Me Again, delivering an honest portrayal of human nature, relationships and love.

Its both funny and heartbreaking watching relationships flounder and deteriorate on-film in a flick this honest. While not always the most comfortable thing to watch on-screen, its important to look at relationships in a serious way on-screen from time to time. By the end of the film, you’re essentially through the ringer, emotionally, because not only are the situations real and believable, the characters are so easily relatable. It felt like I was watching a slightly more dysfunctional version of the friends I’ve grown up with, as we all enter the marriage and children stages of our lives.

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While I enjoy Christopher’s comedic efforts like Goin’ Guerrilla¸ I loved Look At Me Again because it goes back to something I’ve picked up about Christopher over the amount of time I’ve spent watching his stuff: he’s got that somewhat-incendiary John Hughes vibe with a strong dash of Kevin Smith and the conviction to tell the kinds of stories he wants to tell, whether they’re an honest look at relationships or a dark horror flick like Abram’s Hand. Any chance you have to see Look At Me Again, do so. Look At Me Again is a beautiful portrait of what it’s like to be in your late-twenties, painted with confusion, love, tragedy and desire.

Sep
15
2013
Robert Ottone • Staff Writer

A natural bon vivant in love with cigars, finery and luxurious booze, SelfieRob aims to make light of the world around him while living the party boy lifestyle. From the Hamptons to NYC and beyond, SelfieRob lives life to the fullest.

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