Editors Note: “Price is Right” is a running column from local film enthusiast Mr. Price. He reviews selected Strasburg Film Festival films. If he posts a negative review, then the Shenandoah Film Collaborative will respond within his reviews as to why we selected the certain film. By going about it this way, we can help ensure the reader that these are honest film reviews.
“Love Possibly” is simultaneously a biting subversion of the romantic comedy genre and a loving homage to it. The film is a mockumentary following Alex, a socially and romantically inept man obsessed with the idea of love as presented by Hollywood. The core of the story is Alex’s pursuit of Lana, a woman he meets via a Russian mail-order bride website. As expected, this does not work out exactly as he would have hoped.
The humor of “Love Possibly” is quintessential British cringe-comedy. The film fully embraces the uncomfortable reality of the situations into which it puts the characters. There are moments of this film that will be viewed through shielding fingers out of sheer secondhand embarrassment. Notable among these is the moment Alex proposes to Lana, within hours of meeting her in person, after making a surprise trip to Moldova without telling her. The strength of “Love Possibly”, though, is the fact that it couches these hard to watch moments in an abundance of heart. We are made brutally aware of Alex’s flaws, the problems his warped view of relationships causes for himself and others, yet we are still compelled to wish him the best. Likewise, Lana is presented as a painfully human character without being portrayed as a monster. The raw, human element to these characters grounds the film, leaving us wanting the same storybook ending for Alex that he so desperately wishes for himself.
Ultimately, “Love Possibly” succeeds because it is willing and able to balance the tropes of a rom-com, the comedic send-up of that same genre, and the heartfelt humanity of its characters.