Jerry Lamothe's feature film Amour Infinity - A Brooklyn Love Story, a moving & tragic love story, celebrated its 13th anniversary screening of its debut last evening at MIST (My Image Studios) in Harlem. Curtis Ceasar John, who was present to host the event on behalf of ActNow Foundation, interviewed Lamothe for S&A in this insightful piece HERE, which you should read if you haven't.
Unbeknownst to me - last night was the first time of me seeing the film - Amour is something of an underground cult classic. And well deservedly so. I didn't know what to expect, especially for a first film. I've seen plenty of those and it's seldom that one comes across one as well crafted, directed and acted such as this one. It isn't a perfect film; Lamothe told the audience at last night's Q&A there are definitely some things he would change. However, like a diamond in the rough, somehow its perfect imperfection complement the overall beauty of the film; if that makes any sense.
In Amour, Derek (Jerry Lamothe) is a single father dealing with the separation from the mother of his young son. To make matters worse, Jerry, who doesn't have a car, was laid off from his job, events which ultimately catapult the break-up. Jerry insists on keeping temporary custody of his son with the assistance from his sister. On one fateful night when picking up his son from the hospital outside the wrong entrance (B not D), Jerry sees Amour (Jamie Burton-Oare), an old friend from High School, and after quickly reacquainting outside of the hospital, the two begin a courtship.
There's some real honesty and vulnerability behind Lamothe's script. I found myself going through gamut of emotions with these characters and going through the falling in-love process. And maybe it's all part of the "infatuation trap" - when everything feels so right, a feeling way beyond physical attraction, in which you are building an instant connection, an intense friendship with someone who you could talk to for hours.
But, it's not all about man/woman romance. The film also spends considerable time in the relationship with Jerry and his friends. There are films that definitely try too hard to be funny especially showcasing the camaraderie and chemistry between the "fellas". I was impressed with the clever scripting, direction, the acting and the natural flow of their conversations, which were truly funny.
Lamothe said that he wanted to show Jerry was a flawed character, and he didn't want a happy ending. The ending was actually the first part written into the script; the filmmaker said he writes script scenes out of sequence. The latter wasn't obvious and made no difference in the final product. In Amour, Jerry faces reuniting with the mother of his child for the sake of family. It's a real dilemma; I'm sure many in the audience found themselves like myself: cringing during several scenes, disappointed at how - this is going to sound cliche, so put on that Boyz II Men - a love that seems to pure and real can go wrong.
Yet, the film isn't cliched. Love doesn't conquer all in the way you may expect, but there's a profound lesson of love. If you haven't seen the film, I don't want to give it all away. There's plenty more to chew on after the viewing of Amour Infinity (colorism, friendship, dealing with illness, family, true love etc.)
Amour Infinity is available on Amazon on demand and purchase; so if you haven't seen it, go watch it, like, now.