Monday, November 9, 2020

Streaming non-tip: Raffaello Degruttola's tiresome TRANSFERENCE: A LOVE STORY

The movie begins with a quote from the French teacher/philosopher/ religious mystic Simone Weil -- "A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation we bear in ourselves" -- which then plays out in the tale told by Raffaello Degruttola, who directed and also stars in the film as its very beleaguered non-hero. Interestingly, no actual writing credit is given here; instead, the end credits note "story devised and directed by" Mr. Degruttola, which could help account for the generally lame dialog.

Another bit of interest: In the film's opening and closing credits, its title is given as simply TRANSFERENCE. However, the U.S. distributor, 1091 Pictures, is calling it TRANSFERENCE: A LOVE STORY, while on the IMDB, you can find it labeled TRANSFERENCE: A BIPOLAR LOVE STORY. Further, the IMDB also lists the film as running 90 minutes, rather than the way overlong 107 that the current version lasts.

The biggest problem here is that Degruttola (above) has given us a movie filled with very attractive people who have too little to do, not much to think about, even less to say, and almost nothing to offer so that an attentive audience will want to stick around. Instead we meet a very young and pretty caregiver (Emilie Sofie Johannesen, below) working in a palliative care facility in England who meets and mates with an older but hunkily attractive male nurse (played by Degruttola). He refrains from telling her the most important information about him (his medical condition and the fact that he has stopped taking the proper medication for this), so their affair is fraught with general unpleasantness (and a whole lot of boredom, unless you are very new to the love-story genre) throughout, as we wait impatiently for his "big secret," which we've pretty much already guessed, to be revealed.

The lovers' dialog is filled with those kind of "sweet nothings" that add up to just about zero, and the film is filled with typically long stares into space by the pair as they lie in bed. The soundtrack is full of sloppy pop songs meant to stand in for missing content, and the movie's funniest moment comes toward the end as he exclaims to her, "I don't want you to see me like this!" Like what,? you'll want to ask Degruttola, since he looks and acts exactly as he has throughout the entire movie, save for one silly anger scene more than midway along. He is not, TrustMovies fears, a very versatile actor.

But on and on it goes until those 107 minutes are over and done with and relief is at hand. Somehow, I doubt that Simone Weil would approve. Transference: Whatever Kind of Love Story You Want to Call It hits home video streaming this Tuesday, November 10, for purchase, and the following Tuesday, November 17, for rental. Click here for details.

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