AFI Fest: Really Love Review


Set in a gentrifying Washington DC, a rising Black painter tries to break into a competitive art world, while balancing a whirlwind romance he never expected.

We open and lay the groundwork of understanding who (lead) is and chasing the dream of being a painter. We see that his family has issues with him and not trying to get a ‘real’ job.

Next, he gets to be apart of an art showcase, and while everyone credits the work, the lady that asked him to be apart said he could do better.

As he begins to grow, he forms a relationship, and within this relationship, the added pressure between the two starts to divide upon in which they are going slowly. You can love one another but lose one another at the same time.

Here I would like to talk about the pacing and how rough it was to connect to certain aspects of the film. It felt very uneven, and at times this bogged down the dialogue, which made the movie feel much longer than it was.

Transitioning to the dynamic between Isaiah and Stevie played by Kofi Siriboe and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing. They worked together, and that alone made you invest in them as a couple. (I struggled with them solely) As the movie progressed, the two’s emotional layers were un-peeled and forced some intense and passionate scenes between the two that they killed.

Finally, reunited, and it doesn’t feel so good. Without divulging into too much detail to avoid spoilers, the film’s closing was bittersweet and gave me that somber La La Land vibe to end the movie.

The Verdict:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Real Love has a lot going for it, from Kofi Siriboe performance to a solid score to some beautiful cinematography, but where it struggles was within it’s writing. I didn’t feel the connection to the Isaiah the way I was hoping that I would and that disconnected cause a lot of my issues with the movie.

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