Love Etc, a gently moving new documentary about all the many colors of the human heart, opens tomorrow in New York City following a successful run at film festivals. Given that one of the movie’s five segments centers on a famous theater director, the film offers Broadway lovers a treasure trove of intimate “backstage” moments.
Let’s take a closer look at the film and watch the trailer after the jump…
I was able to watch an advance screener and, at first, I thought I’d mainly be interested in the juicy theater tidbits. Woven throughout the film is the story of Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis (Curtains, The Little Dog Laughed), a single gay man awaiting the birth of twins via surrogate. Those hoping for star sightings won’t be disappointed; the baby shower alone features a funny original song from Debra Monk and Susan Stroman as well as laughter and applause from Justin Kirk, Mary Louise Parker (Ellis also directs episodes of Showtime’s Weeds) and many more. The game of “spot the celebrity” alone will keep theater aficionados glued to the screen.
However, there is more to recommend here than Mr. Ellis’s portion of the film, as tender as it turns out to be. First-time director Jill Andresivic keeps the scale recognizably human as she follows every member of her watchable cast, never reaching for high drama or tidy closure (some may find the doc too precious or slight for that reason, but I thought it was a nice change of pace from most “reality” entertainment). It’s hard to resist the charmingly sincere first love of Danielle and Gabrielle or the long-lasting marriage of songwriters Albert and Marion as they deal with the onset of Marion’s dementia. And Andresivic found a real bad boy to love in Ethan, the hunky, 41 year-old divorcee and devoted father of two from Queens who still can’t seem to shake his adolescent, hound dog habits–even if it means losing the woman of his dreams. These are the simple, unhurried stories of love, love as we know it in our lives and not magnified by Hollywood, that the film captures.