howwemet

How We Met (2016, Oscar Rene Lozoya II)

Okay, so co-star Brian Flaccus also co-wrote How We Met, which explains quite a bit in hindsight. In the first two-thirds of Met, Flaccus is a diversion. He’s playing an obnoxious British DJ (with a questionable accent) who helps out ex-girlfriend Christina Marie Moses and her erstwhile love interest Chadwick Hopson–they’re the We in the title. In the last third, Flaccus reappears and loiters, while Moses mostly disappears and Met starts to flounder.

The film’s strength is Moses and Hopson. They have a blind date go terribly wrong; Moses is a modern woman (with a terribly thin role) and Hopson is a dork (with a terribly thin role). But both actors bring a lot to it–especially Moses, since Hopson’s only point for the first act is to be risible. He just happens to be cute when his coke-bottle glasses come off.

Met director Lozoya also edits and photographs the film, which hides its micro-budget quite well. Lozoya’s editing is immediately impressive. His composition’s not great, which is a little weird since his photography’s solid. And most of the plot isn’t terrible. The script has a bunch of problems, but it’s reasonably well-acted. Even Flaccus is amusing, even when he’s tiresome, he’s amusing.

The last third is where Met goes off the rails. Moses and Hopson get separated and, while they’re both still good, the film loses their chemistry and it doesn’t recover. Instead of their hostile tenderness–Moses does wonders with some bad lines throughout the film–Met tries to be a… Well, it tries to be an absurd SoCal white trash comedy and it doesn’t work at all. It’s impressively executed for the most part, but once the film catches up to its opening framing device, the best parts are all over.

There’s also Ice-T narration, which is a cute, unnecessary idea. Probably because he only contributes a prologue and epilogue.

The script also relies on a lot of bad, outdated tropes. You have this incredibly competent independent production from the 2010s trying to be eligible for a Gilbert Gottfried night of “USA Up All Night.” Moses and Hopson deserve a lot better. Given Hopson is film’s other co-writer, maybe he and Flaccus should’ve gotten Moses involved in the writing too.

1/4

CREDITS

Edited, photographed and directed by Oscar Rene Lozoya II; screenplay by Brian Flaccus and Chadwick Hopson, based on a story by Lozoya; music by Carson Aune; produced by Mark Dragin and Ricky Prema.

Starring Christina Marie Moses (Marie Walker), Chadwick Hopson (Ted Bradley), Brian Flaccus (Eddie Better), Jonathan Kehoe (Officer Ron) and Cale Epps (Agent Hughes); narrated by Ice-T.


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