Can’t trust those Italian ladies.
After his mom dies of cancer, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) really has no clue of what to do with himself. He’s young, aimless, and a little naive, however, he knows that he wants to move about the world and finds himself in Italy, enjoying the sites and the culture. And it gets even better when he meets a bright, young and beautiful genetics student by the name of Louise (Nadia Hilker). The two instantly hit it off, start something of a relationship, and heck, even come close to falling in love. But there’s something weird and rather off-putting about her that doesn’t want her to get closer to Evan and he can sense that. What is this secret she’s hiding? Better yet, is it all that bad to where it could be a total game-changer? Well, Evan will soon find out. I guess.
I absolutely loved the first hour of Spring. It’s like a small, contained character-drama about these two people who find one another, instantly strike up lovely conversations about lord only knows, somehow fall in love, and make it all seem so very honest, frank, and believable. It’s a lot like Before Sunrise, but without trying too hard to grab those comparisons, as it’s less about their relationship together, and more of how Evan responds to it and gets better through it.
And together, Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker have this lovely chemistry that’s a sight to behold. It starts off a little weird and awkward, but once the two get to know each other, the fireworks are constantly going off and the sparks are flying. He’s charming in a slightly inoffensive, almost nerdy way, whereas she’s sweet, but also very smart and not exactly what you expect from a female-lead in these kinds of movies. Which is why it’s important that a script like this from co-writers/co-directors Aaron Scott Moorehead and Justin Benson exists – it doesn’t demand that you start paying attention to it right away, but rather slowly and surely, try and figure out what it’s trying to do.
And once we find out what it’s trying to do, well, it gets a little less interesting.
Still, it’s an interesting combination of having this love story we start to grow to adore, with a rather freaky and somewhat silly horror-flick to give us a sense of danger. Together, the two don’t fully come together, but the love at the center is already so successful, it’s sort of hard to take all of the horror stuff so seriously and, I don’t know, look at it as a metaphor? That’s probably not what Moorehead and Benson want, but it’s the only way I could get past the horror stuff that just didn’t fully connect for me.
That said, the movie takes a risk and for that, it does deserve credit. The final two-halves become a sort of weird concoction of horror, romance, thrills, and character-drama, that gets a little bit messier as it goes along, but since we’re already invested in these two, it’s hard to get pulled away. We want to see where they go, see if they can overcome their obstacles, and most of all, continue to have bubbly conversations about life, love, family, and death.
Nothing but the best, of course.
Consensus: The two genres never fully come together in Spring, but the leads are so charming and lovely together, it’s easy to still stick with it, no matter how crazy or weird it gets.
7.5 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: Drafthouse Films