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“Fallen Fruit” & “The Idea of You”

Fallen Fruit

I spent a majority of my adolescence and adulthood living in Denver, a city that, at the time, felt like it didn’t have much for me – a place that didn’t align with my values or offer growth opportunities. However, now in my 30s and having lived in Omaha for the past 5 years, I have developed a new view and appreciation for the city that feels like my home. This feeling is what I love about the new film “Fallen Fruit” and its exploration of our main character’s evolving perception of his home, Miami.

Directed by Chris Molina, the film follows Alex, a man in his early twenties who is compelled to leave New York after a nasty break up with his long-time boyfriend. Returning home, he finds himself feeling lost, stifled, and alone as an adult.

Similar to the main character, the film takes a while to find its footing, featuring many hallmarks of a small-budget production. However, it eventually hits its stride, shedding its initial pitfalls to deliver a deeply personal yet universal narrative. The film is sad, yet hopeful, infused with humor and grounded realism. I particularly appreciate films that make the city they're set in feel like a main character, and "Fallen Fruit" accomplishes this beautifully.

Ramiro Batista delivers a subtle, charming, and affecting performance as Alex. At once you want to be annoyed Alex, but you also find yourself wanting to protect him, echoing the sentiments of his friends and mother. One of my favorite aspects of the film is Alex's discovery of an old video camera, which he uses to document his life throughout the story. This subplot alludes to a classic of queer documentary cinema “Tarnation,” not necessarily in content, but in form. It's a beautiful portrayal of a character finding a newfound passion for filmmaking, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Without delving too much into the story, I must say that “Fallen Fruit” is a scrappy film that exceeds expectations. It feels both familiar and fresh, offering a beautiful entry into the world of truly independent cinema.

“Fallen Fruit” is currently screening at film festivals nationwide – keep an eye out for it!

The Idea of You

If you've been following trends in the cinematic landscape for the past couple of decades, you've likely noticed a steep decline in the rom-com genre. However, in the past couple of years, they seem to be making a comeback with films like "Marry Me" starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez, and "Anyone But You" with Sydney Sweeney & Glen Powell. I enjoyed both of these films, but I'm not sure if any have come close to meeting the standard set by classics like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

Enter "The Idea of You," a new film about a woman named Soléne, portrayed with depth and vulnerability by Anne Hathaway, who just turned 40 and is dealing with the struggles of being a newly divorced, single mother of a teenager. After her ex-husband's flakiness leads to her having to cancel a camping trip she planned to take her daughter to Coachella, she meets and is compelled by a 24-year-old pop star named Hayes Campbell, portrayed with charm and equal vulnerability by Nicholas Galitzine. From there, the film explores many expected avenues but does so with skill and a lot of heart.

This is a truly well-made film. The music from the boy band in the film doesn’t feel like a contrived "fake band" in a movie; it seamlessly fits the world depicted. The score is perfectly integrated with the emotional beats, and the performances and script transcend the more shallow aspects of the genre. Additionally, it's a film that delves into deeper themes beyond romance. It's about the growing responsibility as you age and realizing that life doesn't end at forty; there's still plenty of time to experience new things and pursue contentment and happiness in different ways.

It may be too soon to add this film to the rom-com canon, but it will certainly be in my rotation. My biggest complaint is that Amazon didn’t give this film a theatrical release, denying audiences the chance to have a fun night out at the movies. So I guess it'll be takeout and a streaming night in.

"The Idea of You" is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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Joshua LaBure is a documentary filmmaker, radio producer and podcaster based out of Omaha, Nebraska. His experience includes having directed and produced several short films, two narrative features and two documentary features, with his works featured at the Lone Star Film Festival, The Bureau of Creative Works and other filmmaker showcases. His most recent documentary had a sold-out premiere and received a standing ovation at the Benson Theatre. Furthermore, he founded the Denver Filmmakers Collective, which hosted local filmmaker showcases, has served on jury for major film festivals and has hosted countless film screenings.
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