Title: Newly Single
Director: Adam Christian Clark
Starring: Adam Christian Clark, Jennifer Kim, Molly C. Quinn
Runtime: 1hr 36min
What It Is: Perfectly dubbed an anti-rom-com, Astor Williams Stevenson (Clark) attempts dating after a failed relationship only to not realize that he is the problem. He is in his right to stay himself: unmoved, unsympathetic, self-centered and the like; but he must suffer the romantic and professional consequences of doing so.
What We Think: The literal definition of an artistic control freak, writer, director, and lead Adam Christian Clark plays cringy really well. The main character Astor displays all of the romantic pitfalls we attribute to white men, which may just be another level of social commentary in a film that is so intricately weaved with it. Or so the director says. Astor is sexist, misogynistic, and a little racist towards the end. All the while he maintains this notion of deserving and even often demanding love at the expense of others. A lack of compromise from a character who is simply unrelatable. In turn, the entire film is spent rooting for and yearning for Astor to learn something. Or cringing at the dialogue and relatively graphic sex scenes.
The film is visually stunning. From the shot composition to the lighting, all things cinematography, this one check marks an indie buffs dreams. For such a small crew and low budget, the team did quite an amazing job. While the content may have been a hard watch, the images really suck you in. Aside from the sex scenes. Please stop with the sex scenes.
What to do with a character you want to strangle in a film that was done so well? Give yourself over to it or turn it off, there really is no in between. It’s digestible but uncomfortable going down. The entertainment element really isn’t there, but it does affirm that being stuck in our ways is our biggest pitfall as human beings.
Our Grade: C, Underwhelmed and un…entertained? Not a word but still really true. I love indie films — aside from not being backed by a major studio — the film maintains a pensive sadness when it’s over, pretty spot on to the indie genre. This particular film shouldn’t be cast aside. Instead, it should live on as a reminder to us of what not to act like.