Uncork’d Entertainment released the offbeat dramedy LOVE IS BLIND in theaters and on Digital and On Demand on November 8, 2019.
A young woman, Elizabeth/Bess (Shannon Tarbet), lives with her ailing father, Murray Kraft (Matthew Broderick). Perhaps due to dementia setting in because of his Parkinson’s disease, he actively engages with and speaks to his wife, Carolyn (Chloë Sevigny), but Bess can’t see her, she thinks her mother has been dead for ten years. Murray speaks of his wife in the present tense, but Bess speaks of her in the past tense. Just as you begin to wonder which one of them is delusional or suffering from a trauma that prevents them from accepting the truth about Carolyn, it is Bess that is in therapy to help with her emotional and cognitive issues.
Her psychiatrist is Farmer Smithson (Benjamin Walker), an eccentric guy who acknowledges that he’s on the autism spectrum, which makes him skilled at what he does to help people. Another one of his patients is Russell (Aidan Turner), who is on a self-destructive path and wants to be invisible to the world, but perhaps he’s just missing a reason to live. As Murray checks into the hospital for major surgery, we get the first clue that Mrs.Craft is indeed alive because the doctors discuss with her the surgical procedure and how dangerous the operation will be. Carolyn tells the doctor that Bess can’t see her due to being diagnosed with selective perception, a condition so rare that it shocks the doctor. He plays along with that only speaking with Bess about her father’s situation, since in her world, it’s only her and her father.
As Bess falls deeper into herself to deal with her father’s declining health, Farmer prescribes a new therapy exercise for her to pretend to talk to Russell. A patient that she could not see when she entered Farmer’s office while he was there — feeling vindicated that Farmer is a genius for making him invisible. Russell tags along with Bess, and Bess talks to ‘Russell’ about her day to day activities. As she starts to enjoy these private sessions, she learns that her father dies, and she’s now all alone. In her mourning, she’s finally able to hear Russell talk back to her, at her lowest moment.
Early childhood trauma can shock the system and make a person rely on fantasies, flashbacks, and daydreams to deal with life. Two people afflicted with similar emotional issues can find healing when they open themselves up to each other. Love is Blind is a quirky and silly story about death, love, and, ultimately, happiness.
LOVE IS BLIND stars Shannon Tarbet (“Killing Eve,” Colette), Aidan Turner (The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The Hobbit franchise), Benjamin Walker (“Jessica Jones,” In the Heart of the Sea), Matthew Broderick (“Better Things,” The Producers), and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” The Dead Don’t Die). The film is co-directed by Monty Whitebloom and Andy Delaney (“Polarbearman”) from a script by Jennifer Schuur (“Big Love,” “The Catch”).
Reviewed by Simone Cromer