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Review: There’s sex and a city, but ‘Almost Love’ only scratches the surface

Augustus Prew and Scott Evans in the movie 'Almost Love'
Augustus Prew, left, and Scott Evans in the movie “Almost Love.”
(Vertical Entertainment)

In the rom-com “Almost Love,” there’s plenty of attention paid to the surface — a likable cast, Instagram-ready interiors, smart costuming — but the script from director Mike Doyle has all the depth of a Tinder profile. A few strong moments from its stars brighten the film, but it’s never more than a mildly enjoyable diversion.

“Almost Love” bills itself as an ensemble comedy, but it mostly devotes itself to the relationship between artist Adam (Scott Evans) and his influencer partner Marklin (Augustus Prew). Five years into their romance, the couple begins to wonder if they really belong together.

Meanwhile, friend Cammy (the always welcome Michelle Buteau) is unknowingly dating a homeless guy (Colin Donnell). Haley (Zoë Chao) is trying to ward off the affections of the high school kid (Christopher Gray) she tutors. Elizabeth (Kate Walsh) has been with her husband (Chaz Lamar Shepherd) for over a decade but things aren’t as sunny as they appear.

As messy as the lives of its characters, “Almost Love” is overstuffed, introducing new wrinkles in its final act and then wrapping things up a bit too neatly. Doyle’s feature debut as a writer-director grasps at real emotion, but it doesn’t quite get there alongside the sillier subplots. With its New York setting and supporting threads of Cammy and Haley, the comedy feels a bit like a lesser episode of “Sex and the City but does smartly subvert that show’s structure, putting the gay romance at the heart, rather than on the periphery.

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‘Almost Love’
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Playing: On VOD


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