Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

SXSW '12 Review: 'Leave Me Like You Found Me' Should Have Been Called 'Fighting With Your Boyfriend In The Woods'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist March 15, 2012 at 10:57AM

The debut feature from Adele Romanski, "Leave Me Like You Found Me" centers on a couple, recently reunited after a year apart, on a romantic camping trip. Cal and Erin are still feeling each other out, careful with each other and tender. This doesn't stop them from declaring their love for each other, but love just isn't that simple, now is it. Their interactions devolve into passive-aggressive bickering and fighting, set against a gorgeous woodland backdrop, but if you wanted to watch couples fight, why head to the movie theater?
0
Leave Me Like You Found Me

The debut feature from Adele Romanski, "Leave Me Like You Found Me," centers on a couple, recently reunited after a year apart, on a romantic camping trip. Cal and Erin are still feeling each other out, careful and tender. This doesn't stop them from declaring their love for each other, but love just isn't that simple, now is it? Their interactions devolve into passive-aggressive bickering and fighting, set against a gorgeous woodland backdrop, but if you wanted to watch couples fight, why head to the movie theater?

Anyone who's been through breakups and makeups will relate to this film. You will remember that you have had those very same conversations, practically word for word. Unfortunately, you will not want to relive those conversations through other people for 90 minutes. The performances are intimate and real, and Megan Boone and David Nordstrom are convincing in their portrayals of a couple walking on eggshells around each other. Unfortunately, not enough time is given to making the audience like them, even though they discuss why they love each other extenstively. Sure, Cal, you can tell Megan she's smart and fun and creative, but we don't get that at all. She comes off as just an insecure harpy with some really cute camping outfits.

The context of the camping trip provides a beautiful location, and the leads are attractive, so the film looks great (thankfully, despite its lo-fi style, there is a dearth of behind-the-head handheld following shots), and the natural setting provides a few choice moments for visual metaphor. Watch, as they set up their tent, Cal rips it down and hides it during a fight, only to put it up again; as Erin pulls Cal by the lip into the icy lake, submerging them in the water; as they gaze off a cliff into the valley below; or have a disagreement while overlooking the tumultuous rushing river. One particular fight, lost in the woods in the dark, illuminated only by their headlamps is brilliant in its staging, as they stumble around the forest, their faces only seen when one turns to look at the other in the eyes, training their bright light on each other.

This year, SXSW seems to have a couple of consistent themes in its narrative films (no more rape films, please), and one of those themes is camping. Both "In Our Nature" and "Nature Calls" take place on camping trips, and "In Our Nature" also sets a relationship drama against this backdrop. There's a bear shaking up the narrative during "In Our Nature," and when the possibility of a bear crops up in "Leave Me Like You Found Me," you almost hope that a good mauling jolts these two outside of their own heads and into the real world. Poison ivy outbreak after a tryst in the woods? Rattlesnake bite? Anything?

Eventually, you have to wonder what they are doing together. They seem to make each other miserable, and as they set off on yet another hike, you think, "Why don't they just go home? Longest camping trip ever." They both seem to know that their relationship is poisonous, turning them into people they are not, but they are also the only people who can seem to stand each other. You'll be wanting to break up with these two as well by the end of the film. "Leave Me Like You Found Me" is a pretty little indie film, but you may not want to put a ring on it. [C]


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates