A ‘boy meets girl’ romance that quickly turns into a twisted thriller. Dori, a sexy siren, traps Norman, a slick New York businessman, and forces him to live through a year of holidays to prove they’re a perfect couple. But with Dori, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations take place over one weekend in an isolated country house far from help or a phone tower. “Love Sick Love” is a complex and suspenseful journey into the darker side of passion
There are times when watching a film that you can clearly see what the writer, and subsequently the director, had in mind. The idea is there, it’s just that somewhere in the production process everything got a little confused and the end product turns out messy. With Love sick Love this is very much the case.
The film opens with Norman (Matthew Settle) juggling several women in his private life while running a successful, if immoral, business buying up houses from families who have defaulted on their mortgages. We are then introduced to Dori (Katia Winter) who is one of Norman’s women and clearly considerably more interested in him than he is in her. Following a night of passion, and several bottles of wine, Norman agrees to go away for a few days with Dori to her grandfather’s house in the middle of nowhere despite the protestations of his friend and colleague Andrew (Jim Gaffigan).
When they arrive at the house all initially seems good, although Dori reacts extremely badly when Norman doesn’t reciprocate her declaration of love and this is the first sign of the trouble to come. Next morning, and determined just to leave, Norman is introduced to Dori’s two children Dolly and Albert and then the strangely sinister grandparents. Very quickly it becomes clear that there are darker plans being made than simply a few days away and Norman must now fight to survive the trip.
Unfortunately these are the highlights as Love Sick Love is simply terrible. I’ll start with the aforementioned idea. The story of a wronged woman reaping revenge, whether justified or not, is an old one but in the right hands can be used as the basis of a dark thriller or bloody horror. With Love Sick Love I got the impression that writer Ryan Oxford and director Christian Charles just didn’t know where to stop. There are so many inconsistencies and leaps of faith that the story doesn’t flow at all and each time there was a plot point I found myself groaning uncontrollably. Another problem is that you can see exactly where the film is heading from very early on and all that remains is to hope it gets there in an interesting manner instead of the plodding, ridiculous way that Love Sick Love does.
The script is yet another problem. The cast do their best but there are moments when I could have sworn I saw them sigh with weariness over some of the preposterous lines they are forced to deliver. At no point did I believe that these were real people or buy into their lives, so extreme was the reliance on stereotype and caricature. Also in a film of this type some kind of final redemption is required, a moral message of you like, but with Love Sick Love you find yourself disliking all the characters so much that you almost pray for some as yet unseen monster to emerge from the woods and kill them all. At least this would have generated some faint level of interest!
The biggest problem though is that Love Sick Love just doesn’t know what type of film it wants to be. It is too saccharine sweet and false to be genuinely creepy or frightening with little actual threat. There is virtually no blood or gore so it’s definitely not in the slasher / revenge sub-genre. There are attempts at black humour in places but this is so ill-judged and poorly executed that this certainly isn’t a dark comedy. What we are left with in the end then is a mess of a film that doesn’t deliver on any level at all.
Ultimately I can’t imagine who would enjoy Love Sick Love, or even who the target market would be. There are no redeeming qualities whatsoever and I would recommend avoiding at all costs. There are just too any better films of this type such as Misery or Fatal Attraction to waste any time here at all.
Love Sick Love (2012)