Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Comfort: Make the Nights Count
is like Before Sunrise, but with
extreme photosensitivity. When the sun finally rises, it will cause Cameron Le
physical pain, but he will still try to make the most of his brief nights with
a client’s daughter in William Lu’s Comfort (trailer here), which
releases today on VOD, presumably in honor of Jack Benny’s birthday.
has Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), so he avoids the sun’s UV rays like
the plague. He works the graveyard shift for a crummy 24-hour delivery service,
pretty much guaranteeing he won’t meet anyone. Yet, one night, a regular
customer, Martin the workaholic hot sauce magnate, hires Cameron to pick up his
daughter from the airport. Initially, she is rather put off by Cameron’s
slacker appearance, but she soon finds he is easy to talk to.
fact, they spend most of the night together dining and chatting, but right when
things are about to take a romantic turn, the rising sun forces him to abruptly
end things. Yet, even if Jasmine understood his condition, it presumably would
not change the things much, given she leaves for Japan and a one-year
English-teaching commitment the following morning.
could dismiss Comfort as another
Linklater-inspired ships-passing rom-com, but Cameron’s necessarily nocturnal
life gives it a darker, more melancholy and Edward Hopper-esque vibe. The chemistry of
the two pseudo-romantic leads is also intoxicatingly potent. Chris Dinh (from Crush the Skull) and Julie Zhan are
obviously photogenic, but they also convey a sense that each has put up with a
lot of disappointments in life. Viewers will want to see them work something
out somehow, even though we all realize their circumstances are too complicated
for simplistic endings.
Lu’s treatment of Cameron’s EPP is issues is
sensitive, but realistic. He nicely walks the line dividing bittersweet romance
from maudlin sentimentality, throwing in some bonus food porn in the form of the
gourmet “comfort food” Cameron periodically whips up. Yet, it is the smoky heat
Zhan and Dinh generate that really drives the film. Recommended who enjoy Brief Encounter-like romantic drama, Comfort is now available on VOD
platforms, including iTunes.
Labels: Movie Romance, VOD