LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE – Review by Martha K Baker

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You can have your Marvel movies, your thrillers, and your animé, but every once in awhile, a dear little film about human connection matters even more. Love Is Love Is Love proves to be more than its parts. It nestles in with the basics — from the title’s love to grief, to humor, patience, and sisterhood.

The film takes the form of a trilogy — kind of comprising two short stories and a novella. “Two for Dinner” presents a couple on a date. She wears a red dress and FMN pumps, both requested by him with a husbandly leer, and she dines in a French restaurant. He eats in White Fish, Montana, while producing a movie. Their banter includes writing each other’s profiles for on-line dating.

The second segment, “Sailing Lesson,” highlights a couple married for 41 years who now fail to do things together. She accommodates his desire to sail even though she gets sea-sick because he has wooed her to sea with a threat: “I want a girlfriend — someone to play with.” He is jealous of her book club of friends; she is tired of his jealousy.

“Late Lunch,” the last, longest story, hits home. Around an oval table sits a phalanx of friends. They orchestrate their introductions with the clink of wine glasses, for they barely know each other. However, they each knew the dearly departed, mother of the hostess, Caroline.

The women tell how they met Claire, who has appeared in an earlier story. They reveal a woman that Caroline admits she did not know. They tell secrets. They mother Caroline; they befriend her. They prove that women friends matter beyond husbands. They grieve with talismans for Caroline’s altar to her mother.

They are real friends, and they represent every woman’s funeral friends, who will recognize themselves in the white women and the woman of color, in the lesbian, and in the forgiven.

Eleanor Coppola wrote (with Karen Leigh Hopkins) with not so much flattery as enlightenment. Coppola compassionately directed this heart-felt film by arranging her cameras around a FaceTime screen, inside the sail boat, and, drone-like, over that last supper. The actors include Rosanna Arquette, Cybill Shepherd, Kathy Baker, Maya Kazan, and Chris Messina, but a cast of relative unknowns makes the events real.

Love Is Love Is Love signifies to all women and men that sisterhood is sweet and powerful and worthy. It is a marvelous movie.

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Martha K. Baker (Archived Contributor)

I first taught film at Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1969 and became a professional film reviewer in 1976 in St. Louis, Mo. Through the years, I have reviewed films for the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Episcopal Life, and KWMU (NPR), among other outlets. I've reviewed at KDHX radio, my current outlet, for nearly 20 years.