“In Reality” is a millennial “love story” or really not a “love story” at all, but an analysis, or an observation of the breakdown of what “romantic love” is, is not, and never was as seen by the humorously watchful eye of Ann Lupo, who wrote and directed the film. “In Reality” successfully negotiates between youthful expectations of love and subtle feminist themes of a young woman finding her bearings in the world of romantic relationships.
“In Reality” is fun, smart film making. Ann’s take on her desperation to find her soulmate crosses genres by blending rom-com sensibilities with docudrama as she negotiates her feelings and expectations of love. The movie opens with a black and white documentary styled narration of her dilemma as it jumps into the story telling and character building. For those of you who are old enough to remember, it’s kind of riffs on Dobie Gillis, a mid-century adolescent sitcom where Dobie would take a moment to ponder a specific rxperience and analyze it for its meaning and for the impact that moment would have on his character, but Ann makes it her vehicle, where she put’s her own youthful millennial spin on it to good effect.
The movie moves beyond the narration as Ann incorporates her real life experiences and the various fantasies she entertains as a young single woman looking for love and romance. Ann’s fantasies are shown in vignette segments, where Ann dwells on her imperfections in a self deprecating way. These scenes are shot in a grainier video mode to accent the hyperbole and her own inner hysteria over her insecurities. There are other vignettes where her fantasy life soars with grandiose themes, where true love abounds, rounding out her hopes for love and acceptance juxtaposed against brutal reality in this 95 minute Rom-Com/Dramedy. There isn’t a boring moment as Ann’s story rolls out, and its sweetly sobering lessons lend themselves are a feminist wake up call for those who are enveloped in hopeless idealized romanticism. “In Reality” is a great burst of youthful energy and great food for thought!