19 Months Randall Cole

19 Months is a Canadian mockumentary about a stagnant couple's innovative approach to breaking up. Going with the idea that romantic love has a shelf-life of about 19 months, Rob (Benjamin Ratner) and Melanie (Angela Vint) decide to pre-emptively split up but stay living together until they successfully help each other transition into new relationships.

They invite a camera crew to document their supposedly foolproof plan, which proceeds to capture artist Melanie's leap into a new relationship with the first man she meets and Rob's subsequent jealously-fuelled obsession, breakdown and desperate attempts to meet women to save face.

It's hard to watch these unlikeable people and almost impossible to care about them. While Vint's Melanie at least is slightly sympathetic in a vapid kind of way, Ratner's controlling, emotionally abusive Rob is an un-redemptive prick. The disintegration of relationships is well-covered territory and this distasteful look offers nothing new or interesting to the genre, especially in light of the recent Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which takes on similar material with grace, style, originality, and hope, all of which are lacking in 19 Months. The only spark of cleverness in this film comes from the self-referential treatment of the mockumentary crew. (Th!nkfilm)