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Why Do You Love Me? short film review


Directed by: #FranklinGenoa

Written by: #SteveMeredith


Even strong relationships can be tested by undiscovered revelations about a partner’s past. Accepting someone despite imperfections is an important part of maturity, and is a key theme of Franklin Genoa’s Why Do You Love Me? – a short film about a couple who decide to ask each other the synonymous title.

Brian (Jose Jimenez-Correa) and Ashley (Nashaly Velez) are newlyweds enjoying their first year of marital bliss. Their relationship is strong, and talk of starting a family is on both partner’s minds. But when Ashley decides to ask Brian a question over dinner – ‘why do you love me?’ – the pair begin digging through each other’s pasts and exact reasons why they fell in love with each other when they did. But rather than a cute walk down memory lane, the discoveries each of the pair come across change their perceptions of each other, and threaten the foundation of their love.

Why Do You Love Me? is a short conceptual film set over a dinnertime conversation between a couple who discuss their lives prior to meeting, and how their relationship came about. But Franklin Genoa’s short is really about acceptance, and the ability to forgive flaws or imperfections in order to attain happiness. Both Brian and Ashley uncover some unwelcome facts about one another’s relationship history, which change both their perception of their partner, and themselves. But the facts they find are confined to the past, not the present. Both are left with a choice to fixate on a history that they cannot change, or focus on a present in which they are happy. Making the right choice requires forgiveness, acceptance and maturity.

The film’s concept and themes are strong, but the plot falls a little short of meeting them – seeming a little over-contrived and convenient. It’s hard to imagine the conversation we see would not have arisen previously given the couple’s ages and that the pair are already married – especially given that Brian seems to have an overview already of the elements of Ashley’s past that come to enrage him. Why he would not have previously wanted some elaboration is a little confusing. Similarly, Ashley’s jealousy seems out of place given her maturity and easy-going attitude the film establishes early on. It clearly is designed to show that even good people in solid relationships can be susceptible to jealousy and anxiety over their partner, but comes across as quite jarring and forced in practice.

The two lead performances are convincing and believable. Jose Jimenez-Correa and Nashaly Velez have undeniable chemistry and were excellent choices to portray a happily married couple still enjoying their honeymoon period. Jimenez-Correa’s remorse following an angry outburst is a strong and emotional lynchpin of the film – the key moment of realisation of how insignificant their pasts really are. Crucially, audiences will root for the couple and hope they can work out their differences. The relatability of the actors is testament to this, and significant as most viewers will be familiar with their experiences and emotions.

Anchored by two strong performances and relatable themes, Why Do You Love Me? is an interesting exploration of a question too few couples ask themselves, which despite contriving its drama, effectively highlights that even strong relationships are rarely straightforward.



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