Rom Com Fest 2019 – Five Features & Six Short Film Reviews

There’s a wrap on the 1st ever Rom Com Fest 2019 (go to www.romcomfest.com) and what an event it was.  Desserts were plentiful, tears ran rampant and love was truly in the air.  But before we bid a fond farewell to the to films that make our hearts swoon, I’m taking a critical look back at the latest flicks that unspooled this year for your maximum review coverage reading.  Consisting of five features and six shorts all within the realm of romance and hilarity here are the skinny on the films that made up this year’s fest an unforgettable one.  Here are my…Rom Com Fest 2019 Reviews.




“Two In The Bush” – Progressive passion play about a girl in the relationship dumps who happens upon a man and woman in open relationship and starts to date both of them.  While this one does turn the rom-com conventions on their ear – BDSM, bisexuality, and even dungeon play are explored at points – it still manages to contain the terrific tropes one would associate with this type of material and the inclusion of modern day oddities only serve to make things more interesting.  Going beyond merely being modern in the area of love and courtship, Two In The Bush makes enlightened simply enchanting.

“In Reality” – Told humorously, honestly and at times unwaveringly brutally via dance numbers, sketch shows and candid chat from the mind of lead triple threat gal (writer, director and actor!) Ann Lupo, In Reality is a rare rom-com with both its head in the clouds and grounded in reality for maximum movie moxie.  It’s a tough balance to pull off, but it’s the inspired work by the zany, self-deprecating and ultimately lovable Lupo that makes this one a winner – I dare say Meg Ryan just met her match.

“Tracks”– Decent in the com, but a little more sparse on the rom, this tale of a British couple trying to remember life and love via Europe’s most romantic destinations is definitely a hoot.  Gross out bathroom hijinks, chatter with annoyed foreign elder ladies and that wry British humor run ruckus and rampant.  Wish there was a tad more love and whimsy on this funny farm, but in the realm of relationships one out of two ain’t bad.

“Summer Night”Summer Night is a decent outing that suffers from biting off a little more than it can cinematically chew.  Meaning Joseph Cross’s feature debut has some terrific characters (Victoria Justice’s Harmony is the classic “push-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone” cutie!), funny bits (any moments with Justin Chatwin are a comedic home run!) and palpable chemistry (Ella Hunt’s Dana and Callan McAuliffe’s Taylor have serious heat!), but there are so many stories and players here that the potency gets somewhat watered down.  With it’s everything and the kitchen sink story approach, Summer Night clearly shows bigger isn’t always better.

“One Bedroom” – An uneven tale about a couple on the tail end of their relationship, this one is unsure what it ultimately wants to say or be.  On the up side there is some wry humor via lead actor/writer/director Darien Sills-Evans, a terrific opening credit rap poetry slam via artist DeAriesha Mack and some tasty barbershop bits that harken back to the furiously funny chatter used to maximum comedy potential in Coming to America.  (Chester A. Sims II gives Arsenio Hall a run for his money!)  Down side is that while both good performers, Sills-Evans and his leading lady Devin Nelson have zero romantic chemistry, which makes the more passionate bits a hard pill to swallow.  With highs and lows like an emotional roller coaster, One Bedroom is a cold apartment in need of some heat.




“Anxiety’s Wilma” – With its caustic comedic message, solid staging by writer/director Alexandra Kyle (who also stars!) and fantastic deadpan delivery by a perfectly cast Martin Starr as the naysayer emotion anxiety, this five-star short demands an immediate fleshed-out feature film version ASAP.  (Where do I donate my money to!?)

“On Second Thought” – A grounded look at the ups and downs of a relationship from a “he said, she said” perspective that leaves the viewer yearning for another eighty minutes.

“Almost Charming” – Cute, sweet and simple, this fairy tale without words about a frustrated princess looking for her suitor fills all the required rom-com essentials like a comfortable glass slipper.

“Rekindled” – Goofy yet insightful little ditty about a successful woman hung up on a past high school boyfriend who looks to rekindle the relationship – until he shows up as his 16-year-old self.  Over the top fun ensues. (aka too hot for teacher alert!)

“The Noodle Man” – Enjoyable little morality tale about being yourself in the form of an actor who moonlights as a noodle maker – nifty story surprise at the end.

“The Curse” – An excellent premise – young buck looking for a hook up gets a curse to tell the truth put on him before the deed – that never quite reaches it’s full potential in the rom or com area. (Special attention though to the work of Kurt Koehler as the Divine-like bathroom witch who casts the spell – John Waters take note!)

Well that’s all folks!  Special thanks to the folks at the first ever Rom Com Fest (shout out to founder Miraya Berke!) and here’s to a second year in 2020 – stay romantic!


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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