Rik’s Watch: Newlyweeds

Lyle & Nina & Mary Jane

Lyle & Nina & Mary Jane

I’ve suffered the great mistake: Signing up for a free Netflix account and forgetting to cancel once my month was up. Because of my lack of setting a reminder three days before the end of the trial like I usually do, my bank account has now been charged $7.99 and I have succumbed to chronically watching whatever recommended titles pop up each night when I log in. I’ve started watching Weeds because my cousin and friend have been binge watching, and I’m tired of not knowing what they’re talking about. In taking a break from the freakishly long series, I stumbled upon an odd, indie flick titled, Newlyweeds, and I pretty much found my love life intertwined in the madness that is the film’s main characters, Lyle and Nina.

I’m no movie critic, so I’m not going to write a long review of the film (plus, Robert Ebert wrote a pretty awesome review when the film first premiered in 2013). What I am going to write about, however, is the film’s ability to craft humanity’s intersection with love so eloquently in the midst of two characters we might have nothing in common with (or rather everything in common with). I found myself tangled between the heartstrings of Lyle and Nina, wanting everything with each other, but being distracted by something that they once had control of but has now surmounted beyond their control.

What becomes of Lyle and Nina is nothing at all; two Brooklynites attempting to make love and life work in their tiny, cramped and relatively dirty apartment. Weed is what connects them, but later sends them spiraling out of control. One wants more, the other does also, but they don’t want the same thing at the same time. Lyle feels threatened by a more successful gent who befriends Nina, and because of his dependence, can’t let go of the thing that’s stopping him from having the one thing that keeps him the most focused: her.

I’m not going to divulge the details of my life here, but I will say that I’ve been Nina (or rather, I saw bits and pieces of my experiences in Nina’s character). I’ve been the free spirit, going with the flow, loving and dreaming. At some point though, I got caught up in the dreaming and forgot about reality. This is evident as Nina’s character develops, and she realizes how Lyle’s dependency will put a damper not only on her life with him, but a life for herself. But then it gets complicated. Nina DOES love Lyle. It’s evident in how she looks at him and forgives him. And Lyle, despite his inability to get his shit together in a timely fashion, loves Nina. So, although, like Ebert writes, this film goes absolutely nowhere, it takes us all somewhere that we’ve all been before.

Watch the trailer below, and if you find yourself forgetting to cancel your free trial of Netflix like I did, take an hour and a half to divulge in this beautifully scripted film by Shaka King.


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