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Rental Review: Peter and Vandy

February 26, 2010

In its defense, unlike the too easy quirky nature of “500 Days of Summer,” the awkward and bumbling nature of “Peter and Vandy” felt much more real to me but perhaps it was just that Jess Weixler and Jason Ritter gave more relatable performances than in the other out-of-order what happened to this relationship film out of Sundance last year.

Unfortunately the film came out at the same time as the other and has perhaps gained less attention because of that fact. But the strength of the film lies in the performances of Weixler and Ritter as unbelievably perfect for each other with chemistry that seems much more grounded in reality.

We are 30 minutes into the film before we discover that the two won’t end well. It takes the charm out of the random menu argument scene and first “I love you’s” and makes it something more tender and shortlasting. I became more engaged in observing their moments together, where did it go wrong, what did she say that may have changed things, what did he do that may have ruined it? Why does a seemingly happy beginning fall apart?

Set in New York, the couple meets by accident, but isn’t it always the best way to fall in love? We see disjointed moments in their relationship that play out of turn, sometimes in a confusing order that nicely ties into a fantastic ending. Although the way the film is presented could be a bit jumbled, it fits on an emotional arc as we fall in love with the two.

Jay DiPietro creates a very real look at a couple and leads us into a story that anyone who has ever met someone, then gone through the motions of trying to understand each other even to screaming at each other over a sandwich can relate.

Some nice cameos from Bruce Altman, who plays Vandy’s dad and Jesse L. Martin, who plays Peter’s friend help round out the story.

Unlike “500 Days of Summer” which in the end just pissed me off, “Peter and Vandy” is a lovely piece of indie romance that suits my mood just perfectly. Before I always thought that one day the guy who would say he liked me just the way I am (Bridget Jones) would be the ultimate dream, now Peter saying “that I am the one he has to be with,” is my new notion of perfect movie love.

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