How I Found Limerence, the fun film
In the midst of a winter of interminable international crises and drama give yourself a break and go see Limerence, a Slamdance Festival feature film and the brainchild of Writer/Director/Producer/Lead Actor Tammy Minoff, The film begins by defining itself in its opening title: LIMERENCE (noun.) a state of mind which results from an involuntary romantic attraction to another person, especially combined with an overwhelming need to have one’s feelings reciprocated. Also, infatuated love.
With that expectation set, I found myself looking for different aspects of Limerence in and among Minoff’s eclectic cast of players, pun intended. First, we meet Leo, her BFF and self-proclaimed “most requested bar mitzvah DJ on the westside” played by actor Billy Aaron Brown. His unrequited Limerence for Rosemary (Minoff) while living in what is essentially a ‘That 70’s Show’ version of a free love/sex commune. Leo’s sublimating his desires for Rosemary around his housemates while avoiding all intimacy with his very intimate household makes for engaging comic relief. Meanwhile, Rosemary initially sublimates her feelings for Tom (played by actor Matthew Del Negro)– until she doesn’t.
Set in the palm trees and gentle breezes of Venice, CA, Minoff’s heroine Rosemary is an aspiring painter from somewhere “”Back East” who, like generations before her, has arrived in Southern California to re-invent her life. Rosemary’s apparently and pre-#metoo world is populated by Leo, her BFF. By his own admission, Leo is the “most requested bar mitzvah DJ on the Westside” and day job played for comic relief by actor Billy Aaron Brown and his randy housemates who immediately set their sights on Rosemary. Reluctantly agreeing
Losing Limerence- by definition
I have so little in common with Limerence. For starters, any word with its origins from the mind of a psychologist is suspect from the git’ go, as my mother used to say. Therein lies my problem with “a state of mind which results from an involuntary romantic attraction to another person, especially combined with an overwhelming need to have one’s feelings reciprocated.” Once I see Tom, I immediately say, why wouldn’t she be intensely attracted to him? He’s tall, dark, handsome, well-off (he owns a successful art gallery) and his best friends are a married couple. This last fact to me has always implied some level of stability- most married couples I know don’t have time for Lotharios and or flakes. I can see how Tom’s best friend’s wife could have dated him on her way to marrying her current husband. I can see how Rosemary’s BFF could be jealous of Tom and threatened by him at the same time, especially since he has plenty of unrequited love for Rosemary. Having come of age in a time when I lost too many friends to HIV/AIDS, there is nothing appealing to me about Leo’s living situation. There is nothing involuntary about anyone’s feelings for Tom. What compels me to love or hate any movie is some attraction and or repulsion, i.e., some voluntary feeling. What in the world is an involuntary feeling? Oh, I got it, it’s an oxymoron! I have neither the time or energy or the luxury of having time or energy to waste on involuntary feelings.
Is the movie’s attraction its fantasy world? YES! Now it begins to make sense. In a fantasy world, sex has no consequences, no one is hurt for too long, and starting or ending a relationship has- you guessed it, no consequences! I can make a film about a fantastic idea, and people will love it! Found a fun movie called Limerence; lost Limerence- not bad for a day’s work. Please, please, please go see it and decide for yourselves.