The first time I ever heard of the festival Dances with Film was when I reviewed My Life with Morrissey. Over the years, I've paid attention. I've seen dozens of movies that have played at DWF, advised many filmmakers to submit there, and have written about several films that debuted there. It's an impressive fest, and when I thing of films that should play there, I think quirky, fun, dark, and smart.
And that describes How We Met perfectly.
The story is about an incredibly bad first date. So bad, it has a body count. That's a classic premise for comedy, but can go awry so easily, as many directors have discovered. Luckily, here, it's played with an intelligent combination of pacing, subtlty, and most importantly, absurdity.
The situation spirals out of control, especially as they find themselves involved in thing. The acting here is of the highest importance, because extreme situations can lead to excessive acting decisions. Here, the characters are extreme, but the performances are EXACTLY where they need to be. Christina Moses is amazingly realistic in the way she deals with the world of How We Met, and she delivers the roller coaster of emotions she's called to put out with remarkable clarity and impact. Chadwich Hopson brings the quirky, the off-world charm, and the grounded-in-the-ridiculous charm. Our leads are joined by a bunch of whacky walk-ons, passing fancies, and flavorants. Dirty cops and convenience store clerks and Brit drug dealers would be enough to make it memorable, but add in genuinely lovely moments, like the couple sitting looking over the water telling their stories, and it becomes much more. It's gorgeous, well-shot, and when things get weird, they get brilliant.
The way the film is shot, with slick camera movements, clean edits, and even when things get a bit chatty, the lighting and shot selection keeps it feeling fluid, fresh, and fun. The style falls somewhere between Go and Pineapple Express, and it makes the most of every frame.
I can't say enough good things about How We Met, but I'll note that it's not for everyone, but if you get the whole dark comedy thing, and can flow between sweet and heavy easily, you've found the best damn movie!
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.