The Covid 19 pandemic that has put all our lives on hold, or simply twisted them almost out of recognition , will finish one day . The only thing certain is when the world is a safer place, the movie industry is bound to rush to make so many films about the Lockdown that we may find us appearing to live it all again.
Way before that however, Portland based Emmy Award Nominee writer/director Jon Garcia has created this rather uplifting love story set in these dangerous times. Garcia is best known for his highly successful Falls Movie Trilogy about young gay Mormons coming to terms with their sexuality and their faith. What impressed most of us about this series was that as an ally to the LGBTQ community, Garcia showed a remarkable insight and sensitivity with his scripts that very few ‘straight” filmmakers ever get close too.
With this new movie Garcia shows he has this same empathy for building a relationship between these two single people who struggle with resorting to online dating as the only alternative available means to meet any one during Lockdown.
This is the story of Jason (Ian Stout) who delivers take-out food for a living whilst he tries to finish the play he has been writing for some years. He is an over-thinker, a condition exasperated by the Lockdown as he swings from being a sceptic of the severity of Covid to having panic attacks thinking that this really could be the demise of humanity.
He also feels threatened by not just his writer’s block, but by his recent divorce, and by his very successful brother , and his disapproving father who lives on the East Coast.
Even though Jason is registered on several online Dating Sites, he is having no success with meeting women, until one day he gets contacted by Sorrell (Tiffany Groben). Their first video chat was little short of a disaster, but they still had a second one, and this time something clicked.
Both of them kept insisting they simply wanted some much needed friendly company and intelligent conversation whilst they were trapped in their own homes. The beauty of the story that Garcia co-wrote with his leading man is not that this is an exceptional romance. But the fact its journey is beautifully shaped by the severe restrictions of the pandemic that makes both Jason and Sorrell having to be more creative in what is now officially courting.
Garcia makes it easy for us to see parts of ourselves in how this couple are navigating this unprecedented crisis. They have to deal with a death in Jason’s circle and he also must confront other realities. Such as his brothers succesfull life, that have been a lie all the time.
With pitch perfect performances from Stout and Groben, Garcia gives us a compelling story that has just the right amount of positivity. It makes us feel that life, even in these circumstances, can still contain some real joy.