A man struggles with the anxieties of a new relationship in the romantic comedy Pretend We’re Kissing. Benny (Dov Tiefenbach) is an awkward man, who is always worrying about how to act in front of girls. Benny’s roommate Autumn (Zoë Kravitz) tells him to “stop being a Benny” and just allow himself to be himself. One weekend, Benny has a connection with a girl named Jordon (Tommie-Amber Pirie) and the two begin a whirlwind romance with each other.
Pretend We’re Kissing has all the ingredients of a typical romantic comedy. Benny is a loveable loser, who meets an apparent manic pixie dream girl in the form of Jordon. However, the film turns the clichés of the genre onto their head and features a more realistic depiction of courtship. With romance comes a lot of anxiety and awkward situations and things might not exactly turn out like you envision them in your head. Pretend We’re Kissing is probably similar to The F Word in how it’s almost a “anti-romantic comedy,” though I would argue that this film is even more grounded in reality.
While Pretend We’re Kissing’s interpretation of romantic comedies is an appreciative one, there are some elements of the film that hold it back. The film feels the need to illustrate Benny’s inner anxiety through his narrated thoughts. Except for one moment when he accidently says a thought out loud, this is an unnecessary element of the film, which quickly gets annoying and distracting. Also, while her performance is decent enough, Zoë Kravitz’s character of Autumn, a self-diagnosed agoraphobic and aspiring nudist, really seems to belong in a different type of movie. Despite its flaws, Pretend We’re Kissing is still a somewhat refreshing take on the romantic comedy genre.
★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR
- Sat, March 28, 8:45 PM – The Royal Cinema