Only for You
I’m sorry. It’s just that I can’t see you underneath all that make-up.

DVD Release Date: 06/01/2008
Director: Donna Persico
Cast: Shea Curry, Michael Buie

Spending years longing for a relationship that will never happen is something I can identify with all too well. As such, I decided to try and give the direct-to-DVD release of “Only for You” a chance. Love can make you do things you shouldn’t sometimes.

The film centers on Jack and Dana, who met while performing together in a play. As can be expected, their friendship is wrought with attraction for one another but circumstances always get in their way. Jack’s girlfriend is the primary sticking point (Dana’s divorce baggage is alluded to but never explored fully) and the entire film is a series of flashbacks to illuminate their ill-fated and ill-timed relationship.

What works for the film is the melancholy love Jack and Diane have for each other. Their inability to shift the things in their lives to make things work for each other is the most realistic portion of the story.

Pretty much everything else though fails in that college film class project sort of way. The story supposedly spans 12 years but the characters look the same age the entire time. The pregnant friend of Dana is so obviously not really pregnant and either she was wearing a wig or needs to assault her hairstylist. Jack’s co-worker at his newspaper is perhaps the most cliché “trusted adviser” I’ve ever seen. And perhaps the most frustrating element of the entire production was the terrible, terrible, terrible make-up.

Dana, especially, wears enough blush in each shot to keep cosmetics executives dining in the finest of restaurants. The rest of the cast also suffers from far too much make-up and it continually reminded me of a stage play. It makes sense to over-use certain products when you need to deal with harsh stage-lighting. In today’s technological age, I’m pretty sure someone should have been looking at dailies when this was being made and realized to tone things down to make people’s faces look more natural and not like everyone’s a clown in training.

Speaking of stage plays, that’s what it all feels like. The set designs, blocking and dialogue all reminded me of acting in high school and college. Needless to say, I’m a film critic now so you can imagine how bad of a commentary that can be.

The film, “Only for You” has a misleading title … because it wasn’t for me and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to you. As a direct to DVD release, I might have been more interested to hear from the writer/director Donna Persico as to the motivation and satisfaction about the whole project. Sadly, there were no features other than chapter selection and the trailer so no luck there.

With some reworking, this might make an interesting play (especially the ending because the film derails like an Amtrak pile-up – the trip itself is bad enough but the sudden crash at the end is the last straw). As a film, it’s too broken up into simple two-shots where bit by bit, the audience is given more information about the longing between Dana and Jack. I appreciate that there is a good deal of heartfelt material under the surface but I can’t really give it any more than a 1 out of 5 especially considering how long these 82 minutes took to go by. However, if you’re a big fan of stage productions or a burgeoning playwright or screenwriter looking for an example of how not to develop a love story, you might find more here.