Director(s): Signe Baumane
Writer(s): Signe Baumane
Cast: Dagmara Dominczyk, Michele Pawk, Matthew Modine
The way the body works truly is mesmerizing, and the way our bodies can practically decide our fates is as scary as it is unknowing. As humans we like to think that each decision is given careful consideration through and through, but instead, every action comes with an equal reaction, one that is determined for us without our understanding. In Signe Baumane’s independent animated feature My Love Affair With Marriage, she takes the audience through a journey of incredible hand drawn animation to explain how what one is told at a young age can affect them for life.
My Love Affair With Marriage follows Zelma (Dagmara Dominczyk), who isn’t like the other girls. She doesn’t do the same girly things that the rest of her village and classmates expect from her. She is independent and a fighter, two traits that women shouldn’t have if they ever plan on getting married, which is exactly what Zelma wants. She is obsessed with marriage and obsessed with finding her soul mate as she believes that love is the only thing a woman is good for.
This frame of thinking puts Zelma in some difficult situations later in life. She meets three men on three separate occasions, and aside from the first one, this film does a good job in showing how their upbringing affected the people they were as well. Through each of these men she learns a lesson not only about love, but about herself. This film isn’t the easiest to watch at times, and the artistic choices and decisions beautifully examinate that in such a gut wrenching way, that when the ending finally comes you are just wanting the best for Zelma.
While the story was a meaningful one, told in a beautifully artistic way, there was constant jumping between the plot and the scientific explanation for why each occurrence was happening. For the first couple of times, this worked in an interesting and compelling way, but the overuse of this created a riff in pacing that caused the film to feel longer than it should.
Which this issue, which could have been a small one, becomes a much bigger one down the line; one I couldn’t overlook. While the science behind it was interesting, it was far and away too much, diminishing the impact of the film as a whole. I can appreciate the ambition, but allowing the film to speak for itself would have helped made the entire film more engaging.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.