Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: SPRING

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Guy meets woman. Woman and guy have their own heavy, personal baggage and other issues. These problems threaten the relationship.  That does sound like the typical romance movie, but in the case of Spring, writer Justin Benson and co-director Aaron Moorehead have put a refreshing and freakishly wicked spin on the usual love story.  Spring tells the love story of Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Louise (Nadia Hilker).  While coping with the recent loss of his mother, Evan gets into an ugly bar-room fight, and it becomes evident that he simply needs to get away from it all.  Evan takes a trip to Europe, and while visiting Italy the alluring and beautiful Louise catches his eye.  After getting to know her a little better, Evan becomes quite taken with Louise and falls in love as he spends more time with her.  Louise reluctantly gets romantically involved with Evan, but knows that her baggage may pose a threat to not only their relationship, but Evan’s life.

Like any great love story, Spring is sweet, exciting and sometimes frightening.  Like any awesome film from Fantastic Fest, it has a supernatural twist.  The romantic elements work wonderfully and that is thanks to the realistic dialogue, the skillful direction and the superb performances of Pucci and Hilker.  The two leads share a red-hot chemistry that captivated me and also made me want to seek out romance in Italy.  Pucci would go on to win the Fantastic Fest Award for Best Actor in the Next Wave Spotlight competition.  The talented actor certainly deserves recognition for his performance in Spring, as does Nadia Hilker.  As for Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, they deserve to have their film reach multitudes of people who should be easily converted into passionate fans.

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