Title: The End of Love
Director: Mark Webber
Cast: Mark Webber, Issac Love, Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera, Jason Ritter, Amanda Seyfried, Aubrey Plaza, Jocelin Donahue and Smyth Campbell
Reviewed by @Rudie_Obias
During the Sundance Film Festival, there are a lot of mopey, twenty to thirty-something men trying to come to terms or deal with their current or past relationships. I try to take these movies as they come and try my hardest not put them in a corner. Sometimes they work wonderfully, take Mike Birbiglia “Sleepwalk With Me,” and sometimes they don’t at all, take Paul Dano in “For Ellen.” In the directorial debut of actor Mark Webber, “The End of Love,” manages to take this Sundance trope and infuse it with something personal, his son.
“The End of Love” follows the story of a struggling actor and single father named Mark (Mark Webber). He tries to balance being a single father of Isaac (Isaac Love, also Webber’s actual son) with trying to land acting gigs while he tries to reconcile his past mistakes. While some may find this story be somewhat exploitative, the sheer fact Webber casts his own toddler son could be made as an argument, but it manages to transcend the genre and elevates the film to something that is heartwarming, while being heartbreaking (Thanks Mark!), and completely a bold coming out for an unique independent voice.
As the film unfolds, we get a strong sense of how Mark Webber has a way with creating a film that is very personal. I see this film as a love letter to his son and that one day they can look back at it as somewhat a home movie. But, surprisingly, the real chemistry is between Webber and his co-star, Shannyn Sossamon. Her character is also in a somewhat similar position, being a single mother, and how these two interact is simply charming and touching.
The big takeaway from Mark Webber’s “The End of Love” is to see a talent like Mark Webber flourish as a filmmaker and an artist. We’ve seen Webber grow up as a young actor to an actor who is still trying to find his big break. Seeing him in this light is very refreshing, seeing how we’ve never seen him like this before. I couldn’t help but feel like what we’re seeing on screen is something very personal to him.
Albeit, “The End of Love” is not the greatest of films but is simply a bright point in my Sundance experience. It serves as a film that sees an actor grow into something more on the screen. Getting a good sense of how Webber and son get along and interact is something very energizing, just to get the sense of something we don’t see in most Hollywood movies, real life.