DVD Review: The Truth About Angels

Title: The Truth About Angels

Directed by: Lichelli Lazar-Lea (‘Stranded’)

Starring: Antonio Del Prete (‘Mission: Impossible III’), Simon Rex and Dree Hemingway

Many Americans have come to envy the lifestyles of celebrities and the monetary success they have come to achieve. While these stars seem to have the perfect existence to the rest of the world, few realize the conflicts they face during their personal lives. First time feature writer and director Lichelli Lazar-Lea unfortunately includes several cliched aspects in the plot of her thriller ‘The Truth About Angels’ to prove this point. Her lead character, struggling artist Pablo, is one such person who wants to emulate the celebrities’ success, but he has put his career over his family. He faces his own personal conflict when he eventually sees the errors of his ways and wants to change his life for the sake of his daughter, but doesn’t know how.

‘The Truth About Angels’ follows Pablo (played by Lazar-Lea’s real-life husband Antonio del Prete), who feels trapped in his marriage to his wife Anna (portrayed by Monique Gabriela Curnen). While fearing that he’ll never succeed in the Los Angeles art world, Pablo is constantly fighting with Anna about what she perceives to be his lack of interest in raising their toddler daughter. Pablo feels his luck will change after his oldest friend, Kane Connor (played by Simon Rex), the newest up-and-coming Hollywood actor, invites him to an ultra exclusive Malibu party. The new father faces temptation and fights his conscience when he’s introduced to a beautiful young party girl, Kristi (portrayed by Dree Hemingway). Pablo must make the difficult decision to either give into his temptation, or stay true to his family.

Lazar-Lea has said she penned ‘The Truth About Angels’ after giving birth to her daughter with Del Prete. She became concerned not only about the idea of raising a family in the entertainment industry in L.A., but also without the support of her and her husband’s families, who live in different countries. While Lazar-Lea deserves credit for wanting to showcase the real-life issues many new, struggling families face, these sentiments unfortunately lead to the inclusion of overly common characters.

Pablo is one of the main stereotypical characters in ‘The Truth About Angels,’ despite Lazar-Lea’s best efforts to make him relatable to modern parents. While he wants to protect, provide for and be involved with his family, he doesn’t fully grasp with he’s missing in Anna and their daughter’s life until he’s tempted by Kristi. While at the party, he realizes his distance from his family, and decision to not be more actively involved in his daughter’s upbringing, can lead to his daughter becoming shallow, materialistic and self absorbed.

While Pablo’s moral and ethical transformation is similar to many other thriller protagonists, Del Prete does still manages to bring a unique prospective on improving and protecting his character’s family life. Working with his wife on the set helped the actor, who also produced ‘The Truth About Angels,’ bring on Pablo’s ethical transformation. Del Prete convincingly shows that Pablo has learned for himself that Kane’s Hollywood lifestyle isn’t necessarily the best place for him to become involved in, despite America’s, and even his own, fascination with celebrities and glamor. He shows that he must take the high road and do what’s practical, as his young daughter is waiting on him to take on his full responsibilities.

The DVD features several intriguing bonus features for people interested in the filming process of ‘The Truth About Angels,’ including the featurettes “Making of the Soundtrack” and “Creating the ‘Painted Eyes’ Girl.’ However, the most memorable extras are the cast and crew interviews, in which Lazar-Lea, Del Prete and Rex are among those who discuss the film’s behind-the-scenes shoots. Del Prete and Rex, for example, seemed as though they truly came to care and respect for each other, both on and off screen, while they were talking about shooting with each other and the rest of the main cast.

Thrillers are known for featuring protagonists who reluctantly overcome major obstacles, and in the process, realize what they can and need to do in order to better their lives. ‘The Truth About Angel’s Pablo is one such protagonist, who comes to recognize the fact that he’s putting his own happiness before the well-being of his daughter. While many of the film’s plot-points are cliched and familiar, Prete’s understanding of his character’s changing mindset will help viewers sympathize with the troubled father who’s now learning the errors of his ways.

Technical: B

Acting: B+

Story: B-

Overall: B

Written by: Karen Benardello

Karen Benardello :As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.