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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

LOVE ME -- DVD review by porfle



After a promising start--a smalltown girl is stalked by an unseen figure in a black car, then shows up on a "missing" sign--LOVE ME (2012) gradually settles into the comfortable mediocrity of a Lifetime Channel thriller. 

Artistically-inclined high schooler Sylvia Potter (Lindsey Shaw, THE HOWLING REBORN) makes intricate shoebox dioramas and runs the projector at a revival theater while waiting for true love to come her way.  Enter enigmatic, poor little rich kid Lucas Green (Jamie Johnston, "Degrassi: The Next Generation"), a handsome but troubled transfer student who once dated Sylvia's friend Dalyn (Kaitlyn Wong) until it ended badly. 

Dalyn's warnings go unheeded by the smitten Sylvia, who thinks Lucas a sensitive soul (he makes "mix CDs" for her with just the right songs on them!) until she discovers that he's the main suspect in the murder of that girl in the opening scene.  Not only that, but he has an anger management problem that surfaces when Sylvia is accosted by bullies from her former school.

The usual elements of the teen romantic drama fall into place before taking a sinister turn.  Sylvia's budding relationship with Lucas begins with a cute-meet and progresses to soulful dialogue exchanges and soft-focus romantic dalliances (their obligatory sex scene at his family's cabin is tastefully restrained), which alienates her disapproving prep school pals. 

Especially put off by it all is the wimpy Harry (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), whom Sylvia has relegated to Friend Zone Hell despite his burning desire for her, and who, along with Dalyn, has resolved to make her see the truth about Lucas before it's too late.

Director Rick Bota, who was DP on such films as BARB WIRE and the HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL remake, keeps things very subdued and low-key throughout, rarely overplaying his hand while unspooling this nice-looking but minor mystery tale.  But aside from one or two slightly nail-biting passages--including a creepy scene of Sylvia trapped in her projection booth while someone slowly turns the doorknob--the results are bland. 

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and subtitles in English and Spanish.  Extras consist of two featurettes, "Love Me: Behind the Scenes" and "Love Me: Stories From the Set."

The plot thickens when we discover that Lucas was involved with the missing girl from reel one.  Is he really the killer?  Or might it be someone less likely, perhaps even one of Sylvia's friends?  With a few red herrings to keep us guessing, LOVE ME manages to maintain interest as long as you don't happen to have anything better to do, and you keep your expectations low. 


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