The film centers around Astor (Fran Kranz), an awkward but sweet guy who after finally getting together with his dream girl Mila (Beau Garrett), ruins it by suffocating her with his over romantic gestures and schoolboy ideals. It’s clear that she wants a man’s man and soon moves on to douche bag Jake (Enver Gjokaj). Astor then enlists Cali (Dichen Lachman), a former friend of Mila’s, to teach him how to pickup women and hopefully win Mila back.
As in most romantic comedies where the best friend is trying to help the guy win back his girlfriend, an attraction begins to develop between the two. It’s clichéd and has been done over and over again in movies, but the great thing about this film is that their budding relationship doesn’t feel forced as it does in so many other movies. It progresses in an organic and realistic way, with both obviously struggling with their changing feelings towards each other.
Usually in a film with this type of storyline the guy gains so much confidence he becomes an ass that he messes up with his potential romantic interest but he realises the error of his ways and gets the girls in the end. What I particularly love about this film is that Astor doesn’t change drastically. Sure he becomes better with women but I think that’s due to a growth in maturity rather than to him acting like a douche. In way too many romantic comedies the lead characters lose who they are as a people or drastically change which can feel a little unrealistic. But Astor stays this awkward nervous guy which makes him all the more loveable.
Fans of Dollhouse will love this as it brings many of the core actors together. All the actors perform well but the particular standout for me is Dichen Lachman. While her character is meant to be sassy and guarded Lachman also managed to bring an air of vulnerability to Cali which makes us as an audience connect to her.
This is director Anton King’s first feature film and he executes it very well. His raw take on friendship and relationships is a breath of fresh air amongst the usual “Hollywood” romantic comedies. The story is sweet and amusing, the characters likeable and relatable, and the dialogue sharp and witty. Lust for Love is definitely not one to miss!