Brandon's Sundance Review: Bryan Poyser's Lovers of Hate
by Brandon Lee Tenney
January 30, 2010
Awkwardness makes me laugh. And if the awkwardness is so awkward that it kind of hurts, that it's shocking how awkward the situation has become, it makes me laugh even harder. Lovers of Hate, at times, is that awkward. And it's also hilarious. The film is, on the surface, about the rivalry between two brothers. Paul (Alex Karpovsky) is a successful young adult fantasy author and Rudy (Chris Doubek) is recently-homeless, having only just separated from his wife, Diane (Heather Kafka). When Paul sees his opportunity to seize Diane, Rudy must go to any length available to stop the germ of his brother's and ex-wife's relationship.
The film, for the most part, takes place within one mansion in (coincidentally) Park City, Utah where Paul attempts to court Diane. In the house, director Bryan Poyser manages to play with a mix of tones, from awkwardly humorous, to hilariously demented, to downright creepy. If only slightly rewritten and recut, the film could very well have been a slasher movie -- but from the slasher's point of view. The film is produced by the Duplass Brothers, which is no surprise. It's a charming film with real comedic teeth. And what's best is that during any given moment of the film, who you're rooting for may change. And it works.
Brandon's Sundance Rating: 7 out of 10
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