Title: Getting It
MPAA Rating: N/A
Director: Tom Heard
Starring: Tom Heard, Donato De Luca
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
What It Is: Veteran actor Tom Heard’s directorial debut focuses on Jamie (Heard), an amateur cabaret singer who begins a May-December romance with the talented, tortured young poet Ben (Donato De Luca). Jamie’s tendency to put himself first in relationships resulted in the acrimonious dissolution of his relationship with his ex; Ben is damaged and still working through his place in the world. Can the two reconcile their differences? Can Jamie develop the will and self-improvement necessary to become a better person?
What We Think: Getting It is a thoroughly enjoyable little film that effectively subverts a good number of romantic comedy tropes. It’s notable that the film contains no real antagonists. Its biggest antagonist is also its hero. Jamie is not flawed in the same way that the archetypical rom-com leading man is flawed; he is not bumbling in the way that Colin Firth is or endearingly reserved or clumsy. He is, rather, flawed in the way that a human being is flawed, and there are decisive moments in the script (such as one scene, in which he dismissively talks about his lover’s poems without ever having read them) that warrant genuine disdain. Leads Heard and De Luca have excellent chemistry. Heard is a novice director, and at times his work is heavy-handed; he resorts to an excessively long romantic montage, in an apparent retreat to the rom-com formula, and several of the supporting characters are more caricatures than anything else. Linus, the comic relief of the film, exists largely to deliver sassy one-liners and to dump exposition when necessary. He wanders uninvited into his neighbors’ rooms so often and makes so many unsolicited, creepy comments that he is essentially a flamboyantly gay version of Denny from The Room. Much of the film also centers on Heard’s singing, which indeed sounds like that of an amateur cabaret singer. However, the musical numbers stretch on for slightly longer than welcome, and the extraordinary praise and emphasis that his script places on his own singing indicates that no one is more impressed by Tom Heard’s voice than Tom Heard. Despite its flaws, however, Getting It is a likable, promising film that serves as a welcome antidote to fare from the Rom-Com Industrial Complex.
Grade: B+, It’s a well-done LGBT romantic comedy with an engaging screenplay and good performances. Heard displays particular promise as a writer, and the central love story is one that the audience can’t help but root for, despite–or perhaps because of–its messy, honest humanity.