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'Forev': A film festival favorite now charms on VOD

Theatrical still "Forev" with Noel Wells, Amanda Bauer, Matt Mider
Theatrical still "Forev" with Noel Wells, Amanda Bauer, Matt Mider
Reid Chavis

Forev movie review

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Last summer during the Los Angeles Film Festival, I was charmed by "Forev," a low-budget romantic comedy co-written and co-directed by University of Texas alums, Molly Green & James Leffler. Starring Noel Wells (now part of the ensemble of Saturday Night Live) and Matt Mider as Sophie and Pete, this rom-com is having its VOD rollout on May 16, and is well worth the fee.

Below are excerpts from my review from last June during the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Having its World Premiere and competing in the Narrative Competition category at the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) is the offbeat charmer, “Forev.” Co-written and co-directed by University of Texas alums, Molly Green & James Leffler, the film stars Noel Wells and Matt Mider as Sophie and Pete – two East Hollywood apartment dwellers/neighbors.

Neighbors more than friends, this changes over a course of a few days, beginning with Sophie's accidental, yet hilarious barge into Pete's apartment. Sophie is in full make-out session with her evening's hook-up as she slams into Pete's living room as he sits on the couch eating pizza.

Then after a bad audition, Sophie again returns to Pete's apartment hoping to drown her woes with drink. Claiming she's never picking herself off of his carpeted floor, Pete awkwardly remarks that they might as well "get married" since she's never leaving.

That joke is bantered about as Sophie accompanies Pete on an errand, which turns out to be a 6-hour drive to Phoenix to pick up Jess (Amanda Bauer), Pete's college sister. As the joking turns more serious, somewhere along the way the engagement is accepted.

As they pick up Jess, they learn she has boy troubles of her own, and she is certainly less than thrilled about their engagement.

This two for the road movie turns into three and then still more as this road trip is shared with strangers who come into their lives and weigh-in on issues of love, marriage, relationships, hook-ups, wandering, and getting lost (and found) in the desert.

Green and Leffler remarked how for this first feature, they took stock of what they had: an RV, friends who are terrific actors that they'd gone to school with, and the desert - which always looks amazing on film. For a year they outlined and had their actors improv scenes before actually writing the script. However, in the finished film, nothing is improvised, everything is scripted.

The crew shot 19 days over weekends, plus nine straight days. They often sought favors from their passionate cast and crew. (Even the producer helped cook the crew meals.)

Too often romantic comedies fall flat, but filmmakers Molly Green & James Leffler suffer no such shortcoming. Instead “Forev” is a delightfully funny crowd pleaser.