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Review: Better off unseen itself, romantic fantasy ‘Love Is Blind’ ponders invisibility

Benjamin Walker and Shannon Tarbet in the movie ‘Love Is Blind’
Benjamin Walker and Shannon Tarbet in the movie “Love Is Blind.”
(Jon Pack / Uncork’d Entertainment)

The term “selective perception” takes on a new meaning in the pretty but dumb romantic fantasy “Love Is Blind.” Bess (Shannon Tarbet) believes her mother (Chloë Sevigny) is dead, but she actually just can’t see her, despite the efforts of her father (Matthew Broderick). Meanwhile, Bess’ therapist and lover, Farmer (Benjamin Walker), thinks he can cure her through group therapy with a new arrival to their small town: self-destructive demolition expert Russell (Aidan Turner), who wants to be invisible. When Bess can’t see him either, Farmer pairs them up to in an attempt to fix both of their ailments.

Directors Andy Delaney and Monty Whitebloom have worked in music videos for decades, including making Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” and this film has the stylish aesthetic you’d expect from their experience. Shot by Whitebloom, “Love Is Blind” bursts with saturated colors and well-framed shots, but it’s simply a layer of artifice that can’t distract from the shoddy script.

Writer Jennifer Schuur has done smart, solid work previously on “Unbelievable,” “Hannibal” and the silly fun of “The Catch,” but the screenplay here feels inauthentic and makes little sense either intellectually or emotionally. It’s not just its fantasy elements that don’t feel true; these characters are so stuffed with quirks and absent of real qualities that we feel nothing for them — other than annoyance. This is a film that’s better off unseen despite its lovely visuals.

‘Love Is Blind’
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; also on VOD


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