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I Love Us (2021) Film Review

★★★★


Directed by: #DannyAAbeckaser


 

Petty criminal Sammy Silver (Abeckaser) struggles to trade his criminal ways for a married life after he falls in love with single mother, Laura Fenton (Cassidy).


I Love Us (2021) is an American crime drama, directed by and starring Danny A. Abeckaser as the lead, who also briefly appeared as ‘Deadbeat’ in Martin Scorsese’s hit crime epic The Irishman (2019). This one and a half hour feature tells the story of a thief coming to terms with what it means to love and the premise may be promising, but a manipulative and messy execution unfortunately keeps it from reaching any notable heights.


The film begins strongly when we are introduced to the charismatic Sammy Silver, as his cool voice-over narration takes us through a simple jewellery store robbery. He makes a successful, sneaky getaway and suddenly his life changes forever when he scores a date with a woman he meets on a bus and quickly starts a relationship with her, however, there is one matter which makes things complicated.

I Love Us (2021) poster

Laura has two teenage daughters; Audrey (Harlow Jane) accepts Sammy with open arms immediately, whereas Rachel (Jasper Polish), who misses her dad, takes a lot more convincing. Sammy continues to perform criminal acts behind his wife’s back, despite his father, Harvey (Robert Davi), urging him to tell her the truth and when tragedy strikes, Sammy is forced to stand up and become a father to the girls, whilst also keeping his work a secret.


The movie does struggle to balance the family drama elements with Sammy’s criminal activities, resulting in a confusing and contrived screenplay which does not flow in an engaging manner. The plot suffers from pacing problems, with characters not having much to work with and many scenes set up with the intention of manipulating viewer’s emotional involvement with the narrative, causing many instances of character interactions to feel unnatural and forced.


Family drama takes more of a front seat and when the big heist job eventually comes around, which will finally allow Harvey and Sammy to break free of their criminal ways, there are only ten minutes left of the film. The heist itself is overall presented in a cliché, by the books format, with a distinct lack of tension or creative originality and a predictable plot twist.


The film’s saving grace does come from its lead performances, with Danny Abeckaser certainly lending some much needed Brooklyn charm and flair to the plot, with a laid back, yet protective demeanour that one cannot help but be attracted to. He works well with all his co-stars, including a nice scene between himself and Katie Cassidy on the bus, with a believable relationship blossoming as the narrative moves forward.


Ultimately, I Love Us attempts to offer a unique blend of crime and family drama, however, this trope has been explored more effectively in other films. The movie offers nothing new in story and direction, but does feature an endearing lead who just about chases impending boredom away.

 

I Love Us (2021) trailer:


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