“Young Love,” a review of “Staycation” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 3/5 Stars, STREAM
Director: Tanuj Chopra, Writer: Tanuj Chopra, Anthony Ma, Starring: Anthony Ma, Grace Su, Mousa Kraish
Plot: “Staycation” is an intimate look at the lives of a young Asian-American couple in Los Angeles.
Review: For my third film of the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival, I turned my sights on a film to which I could relate. “Staycation” focuses on an Asian-American couple living in downtown Los Angeles. From the opening scene, we get the sense that their love is new, blossoming, and there is much to be learned. Tanuj Chopra, the writer and director of this film, does a superb job focusing on those little details which can make or break a relationship; all things young love must face.
Moving in together is about testing the waters of a relationship. Putting the name of someone else on a lease is a sign of commitment. In today’s modern world, it might as well be marriage, because in a confined space a person reveals who they really are. Their habits, quirks, and a million other little things you would have forgiven before being faced with them on a daily basis become amplified. As a movie-goer, I know this isn’t an original plot, but it being told through the eyes of an Asian-American couple was a breath of fresh air.
The next great test is surviving those “nothing fights” and those real battles over finances. In this movie, the “nothing fight” begins when the topic of past sexual partners is raised; which is a recipe for disaster. The scenes following this revelation are hilarious and worth the price of admission. This tug-of-war gives way to who is pulling their weight around the house. Here, the writer chose to put that power in the girlfriend’s hands; another breath of fresh air.
The power imbalance defines most of this movie in the most fantastic of ways. From the most intimate of moments to ordering takeout, this film is filled with awkwardness, adventure, and discovery. In the end, it is about a slow death; something that happens to all relationships. The best couples find a way to reinvigorate their love and others allow it to wither on the vine. From the opening shot to the rolling of the credits, this film will keep you guessing about what the future holds. For that, I recommend finding a way to see this film and snuggling up with the one you love.
Be good to each other,
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