Published Nov 04, 2012In an effort to gain indie credibility and channel the late '90s character relationship drama, Daylight Savings, Dave Boyle's follow-up to Surrogate Valentine keeps things simple by following a trio of characters on a road trip to Las Vegas, using black and white photography not because the film is a morality parable, but rather because it looks cool. As such, the success of this comedy stems from the characters, their interactions and their chemistry, which, sadly, is lacking almost entirely.
Reprising his role from Valentine, Goh Nakamura plays an alternate-reality version of himself as a moderately successful musician suffering a Skype break-up with girlfriend Erika (Ayako Fujitani). Interpreting the experience with maximum superficiality, he jumps back out into the dating pool and the world of flirtation, meeting the too-cool-to-be-real Yea-Ming (also playing a version of herself) and following her to Vegas with ex-convict cousin Mike (Michael Aki) when he's unable to interpret her feelings towards him.
With excess homoerotic imagery, be it close-ups of men eating bananas or repeat scenes of men doing up pants or standing in their underwear, the visuals often contradict the trajectory. It seems that Dave Boyle is going for low-key idiosyncrasy but his characters are far too boring, often chattering about topics that don't pertain to the story or don't hold any appeal in a character building sense. In such, the goofiness tends to stem from Boyle's propensity for homoerotic imagery and regurgitation of romantic comedy tropes, even going so far as to feature an amusement park montage.
And since it's impossible to care about the central ciphers, who never appear to be at ease with each other, there's little investment in whether or not Goh eventually finds love or develops emotional complexity beyond the average ferret.
Also screening with the exceptionally bland Daylight Savings is the short animated film, Requiem for Romance, wherein a telephone break-up is made dramatic by a Samurai battle. It's just a shame that the grotesque characters breaking up establish absolutely no ethos and probably shouldn't be breeding anyways, making the demise of their relationship socially responsible.
Daylight Savings screens on Thursday November 8th at 5:40pm at Innis Town Hall.>/i> (Brainwave)