One of the greatest consolations in life is the belief that suffering can be interesting. Contentment does not necessarily give viewers (or audiences) the pleasure of great gossip, drama, or insight, and the idle drama Love Is Love Is Love by director Eleanor Coppola mostly appears to be contented, happy people.
The film is a collection of three largely unrelated stories, each with its own title card. First up is Two for Dinner, in which the director (Chris Messina), who is based in Montana, meets his wife (Joanne Whalley) for a remote video chat date. In Sailing Lesson, Katie Baker and Marshall Bell play newlyweds who revive a romantic fantasy as people who can sail on an afternoon date.
The last story in this modest collection, Late Lunch, is also the longest episode in the film. In it, Caroline (Maya Kazan) hosts a dinner in memory of her late mother, attended by all of her mother’s closest and dearest friends.
Coppola, 85, focuses the camera on characters who recall lengthy monologues that seasoned film actors clearly enjoy, including dinner guests Cybill Shepherd, Rosanna Arquette and Rita Wilson. The tone and pace of the film is consistent with these sedentary conversations of people who are aware of their age and have managed to find peace.
But the cumulative effect of so much enlightened sitting is that the film doesn’t move. There is no action, both visually and emotionally. The discovery never knocks the characters off their feet. When they speak, it feels like they’ve waited their turn.
Love is love is love
Not rated. The duration of the performance is 1 hour 31 minutes. In theaters.