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Philippe Thompson Written by Philippe Thompson
Mar. 1, 2013 | 2:49 PM

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The End of Love (2013)

By J. Philippe Thompson

Showing a maturity well beyond the lovesick teenager he plays in Snow Day, and building on his role in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Mark Webber delivers a strong performance in his second feature, THE END OF LOVE.

The film, an autobiographical indie that debuted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, gives a raw glimpse into a tender relationship of a father and his young son in the face of great loss.

Mark (played by Webber) struggles both personally and professionally as an actor as he fails to move on from the loss of his wife in a car accident. Mark’s spousal melancholy heightens as he must raise his dynamic two-year old son Isaac (played by Webber’s real-life son of the same name) alone.

Isaac is a real gem: he provides much of the comic relief in the film and also serves as a foil to the despondent Mark.

Mark’s quixotic tilts at love with both his ex-girlfriend Jocelin (played by Jocelin Donahue) and a young single mother Lydia (played by Shannyn Sossamon of A Knight’s Tale fame) show promise but ultimately recoil miserably. Lydia, however, gives Mark a second chance at being friends.  Lydia’s example as a single parent helps Mark to better understand the impact his choices have on Isaac, which in turn helps him escape the void of his former life and fully embrace his greatest role: that of a father.

The film may try your patience at times through its cinéma vérité style pacing and elongated scenes, as well as through some self-aggrandizing cameo appearances.  Although the abrupt ending leaves the narrative somewhat unresolved, THE END OF LOVE overcomes enough of its flaws to keep you in your seat.

THE END OF LOVE is currently available On Demand and opens in Los Angeles and New York on March 1, 2013.

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