Tribeca 2014: Loitering with Intent – Film Review

Director: Adam Rapp
Writers: Michael Godere, Ivan Martin
Cast: Michael Godere, Ivan Martin, Marisa Tomei, Sam Rockwell, Brian Geraghty, Isabelle McNally
Runtime: 75 minutes

Audiences are treated with a variety of films every year, each with something unique to offer. Often, these films are refined to mark off the “what a good film must have” check list. However, there are very few films that just involve a bunch of friends wanting to do something fun, with no particular agenda in mind. Loitering with Intent, in all its craziness, is such a film.

The film follows aspiring writers Dominic (Michael Godere) and Raphael (Ivan Martin), two artists hoping to make the big click. When they have a run-in with an eager, financially-well-to-do film producer, they escape to the seclusion of upstate New York to churn out a script. However, when they have a run in with Dominic’s sister (Marisa Tomei), the pair find their escape-for-work plan starting to deteriorate thanks to unexpected distractions.

Loitering with Intent

Michael Godere and Ivan Martin have put together a story that everyone can relate to, not just in the context of whats happening but generally as well, whether its understanding love or understanding one’s priorities in life. The highlight of the writing is undoubtedly each characters dialogue, further enhanced thanks to the colourful artists who are a part of the production. The comedy is not forced or just a bunch of one-liners; great dialogue allows for hilarious moments to occur in a natural way, as part of the various conversations. That makes the viewing experience totally worthwhile. The story itself could have been worked on a little more, perhaps building a bit more tension than there was seen on screen. With that said, it’s a feel good story and you walk out of the theatre feeling pretty great.

The highlighting of the film is without question the performances. Michael Godere and Ivan Martin deliver witty performances as Dominic and Raphael, two characters you want to care for – because they are two awesome people – but want to smack on the head as well because of the stupid things they do. Sam Rockwell has a knack for making anyone laugh by just saying a word or two, and that talent is very much alive in this film. Rounding off the colourful character list are Dominic’s hysterical sister played by the talented Marisa Tomei, the not-really-part-of-reality Devon played by funny man Brian Geraghty, and the sweet Ava played by talented Isabelle McNally. The chemistry that exists between each artist allows for these not-really-compatible characters to really work together, creating a great romantic comedy. You remember their performances long after the theatre lights come on.

Loitering with Intent

A note must be made of Adam Rapp’s direction. It is clean and sophisticated, highlighting the main drivers of the film: the characters. With every scene, individuals are treated with wonderful performances and at no point are you distracted by things in the background or anything else. Even with the film being an independent production, you see the quality in the film, both of the final product and the various elements within the film. The film is also paired with great music, matching each scene and the activities within them. Overall, the direction played a major part in the quality film you get to see at the end.

Loitering with Intent is by no means a perfect film. However, that’s not really the point. What audiences get to experience is a romantic comedy that translates real life onto the big screen. The characters are not over done, the settings and interactions are not exaggerated, and the comedy is proper comedy and not just a bunch of one-liners. You walk out of the theatre with a smile across your face and that’s what its all about.