“Spring” is probably the closest that we’ll ever get to find out what a horror/monster-movie by Richard Linklater would look like. Not that he was involved in this picture in any way, shape, or form, but “Spring” definitely gives off a Linklater-vibe, in concept (an American on vacation in Italy falls in love with a European woman) as well as in execution (long dialogue scenes, lingering shots). And while “Spring” isn’t quite on par with the aforementioned “Before”-series, I rather enjoyed it.
With a movie like that, probably the most important thing is that the love story that’s at its center works, and as least in my point of view, it does. I felt the attraction between Evan and Louise, and started rooting for them as a couple from very early on. Both are played really well by Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker, respectively, and they also have a very good chemistry together. Also, I found the whole movie to be quite charming. I also liked that – despite a couple of red herring-scenes that try to indicate exactly that – this isn’t a simple vampire and/or werewolf-movie, but that there’s something much more complex – and original – going on. The corresponding transformation scenes were very well done, and highly effective.
Granted, the explanation of what really is going on with Louise is very far-fetched, and also quite bizarre, and I totally get when someone simply can’t buy into that. Also, it gets crazier and crazier with every passing minute, and I understand everyone who sooner or later just wasn’t willing to go along with it any more – with the scenes at the ruins of Pompeii a particular challenge. If you found the movie absolutely insufferable at this point, I totally get it, but all I can say is that the central love story was strong enough for me to successfully suspend my disbelief. I was willing – and able – to buy into the concept, as strange and weird and bizarre and implausible as it may be. And at the end, when Louise made her “decision”, I really was on edge, hoping that everything would turn out alright – but having absolutely no idea beforehand which way this would go. Thus I found this scene to be incredibly tense.
It’s not without problems, though. The aforementioned high level of suspension of disbelief that it requires notwithstanding, it’s also a tad too long, with the first half hour or so a particular standout in that regard. I just think that it was totally unnecessary to have Evans backstory play out in front of our eyes, instead of revealing it gradually. Since in that case, not only Louise would have been a mystery to us, but also Evan; which would have worked a lot better in my opinion. I also didn’t care at all for the clichéd US-tourist that Benson and Moorhead felt they had to include. Some of the landscape-shots were noticeably done with another camera with a lower resolution, and thus stood out from the rest of the movie. And although I do believe that fast connections with another person (romantic or not) are definitely possible – sometimes you just “click”, and that’s that – it might not have hurt to stretch the romance out over more than just a week, given the crucial, life-changing decision that Louise has to make. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this charming – and highly bizarre – “monster love”-movie.
Read my buddy Maynard’s review here!