Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Nina Forever: Death Does Not Part Them
Rob is way past “it’s not you, it’s me.” Besides, it really is her. Nina is the
one who’s dead, yet he still can’t break up with her. Of course, her ghost is
not about to make things easy for him. That puts his new, living, breathing
girlfriend in an awkward position in the Blaine Brothers’ Nina Forever (trailer
opens this Friday in Los Angeles.
her latest dumping, Holly decides she needs a brooding Byronic type. She thinks
her supermarket co-worker Rob will fit the bill—and does he ever. Still broken
up over the death of his girlfriend Nina, Rob tries to passively commit suicide
through recklessness, only ending up with some cuts and bruises for his
efforts. However, life suddenly seems to make sense again when he finally starts
dating Holly. Unfortunately, it all turns sour the first time they hit the
sheets. Somehow, whenever they start to get physical, it summons the spirit of
Nina. She is angry, obstinate, and very bloody. Her arrivals will ruin many a
set of sheets.
Nina’s supernatural inconvenience, Holly and Rob are convinced they are in
love, so they try to make it work. Holly even suggests a threesome-like
arrangement with her spectral rival, but Nina is far too possessive for
compromise. Yet, the smitten lovers (the two living ones) will carry on
nonetheless, until things really get weird.
all the plasma that comes with Nina’s appearances, Forever is a surprisingly down-to-earth film. Frankly, there is
more honesty in this ostensive horror-comedy than the average Noah Baumbach
film, especially the scenes involving Nina’s grieving parents, played with
acute sensitivity by Elizabeth Elvin and David Troughton. It is an unusually
sharply written film that has some genuinely biting surprises in store for
Hardingham is spectacularly skittish and twitchy as Holly. It is impossible to
envision her in a conventionally healthy relationship, even though we do root
for her. In contrast, Fiona O’Shaughnessy makes a wonderfully macabre diva as
Nina. While Cian Barry’s Rob is deceptively straightforward, he truly delivers
the film’s emotional pop down-the-stretch.
Forever really puts zombie rom-coms
like Life After Beth to shame. It has
the grit of a more accessible Ken Loach film and the subversive sensibility of
Ben Wheatley. (Probably, the closest comparison would be Benson & Morehead’s
Spring, but Forever has a darker vibe.) In all honesty, it deserves
consideration outside the genre ghetto, but at least we will appreciate it
here. Recommended for fans of dark fantasy and grounded supernatural tales, Nina Forever opens this Friday (2/12) at
the MGN Five Star Cinema in Los Angeles, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Labels: British Cinema, Horror Movies