1 April 2016 | MaribouCaribou
I've been giving this film a bit of thought since I saw it last week. Like You Mean It is a subtle, interesting film and I definitely recommend that you see it. Philipp Karner, writes, directs and plays the lead role in a slice-of-life about a gay couple whose relationship is put under the microscope as frustrated actor Mark starts to withdraw from intimacy, leaving his long-suffering boyfriend confused and hurt. The script is naturalistic with some sparkling, well-observed dialogue and strong performances from the actors, particularly in the cameo parts. The film is lovingly crafted and the use of audio to create ambiance and a sense of space is outstanding. The narrative pace is nicely judged and is punctuated by scenes of Mark driving around his home town, alternately attempting to save and sabotage his relationship, all the while ignoring calls from his sister back in Austria. The niggling flaw with the film is what gets left unsaid. There are hints of past medical issues, there are hints that Mark's relationship with his family is problematic but none of this is called out explicitly. When the resolution comes we're left unsatisfied and wondering why. Like Mark, the director is holding out on his audience, and while on the whole the unfolding tale is subtly and elegantly told it just falls short of creating sufficient motive to explain his character's actions. That said the film is an absorbing 90 minute window onto the world of a struggling couple, raises some interesting questions about how we undermine ourselves and is elegantly sketched. I'll definitely be looking out for more from Philipp Karner.