Being a Joss Whedon fan means you often will see his repetoire of actors working together again and in each others projects. Once Firefly ended, a number of the main actors did guest stints on Buffy and Angel while they were still on air. After Marvel’s The Avengers, his major follow up was the critically acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing featuring stars from his popular shows. But Dollhouse is the black sheep in the Whedon family, so I’m not entirely surprised that the indie film featuring many of the old dolls isn’t getting as much love as Much Ado. I was however surprised by how much I truly loved Lust for Love starring Fran Kranz, Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Miracle Laurie, and Felicia Day – all Dollhouse alums.
Lust for Love opens with Astor (Fran Kranz) freshly heartbroken after his life long crush dumped him. He decides to find her old best friend Cali (Dichen Lachman) to get some insight on how to win her back. The bulk of the film follows their lessons as he tries to pick up women, grow up from being a shy man-boy, and gain the confidence he’s always been lacking.
While it’s pretty obvious how this film will end and who will end up with who from the beginning, the journey is so enjoyable that it doesn’t matter. The banter between Astor and Cali is fast, smart, and punchy. It could have very easily veered too far in to the cheeky or kitschy-speak of some indie films, but it balances honesty with humor adeptly. Their continued “lessons” on wooing women are equal parts ridiculous and hilarious. Throw in a few more character quirks on both ends and their dynamic carries the film.
Fran Kranz shines, bringing boyish charm to Astor’s niavete that make him charming and delightful. You want him to be happy and end up with the right girl, even if the audience figures out who the right girl is long before he does himself. Hopefully after the success of Cabin in the Woods and Much Ado, we’ll be seeing much more Kranz on our screens.
Gravitas Ventures just released Lust for Love on VOD and across all other digital platforms on Friday, February 7.
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