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Kate & Jake

Critic:

William Hemingway

|

Posted on:

24 Mar 2022

Film Reviews
Kate & Jake
Directed by:
Jack McLoughlin
Written by:
Jack McLoughlin
Starring:
Sarah-Louise Chadwick, Michael Latham, Anthony Devine
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Ah, young love. Glorious halcyon days lived in a rose-tinted hue where everything is positive and the future looks bright. But it never lasts, does it? Pretty soon the cracks start to appear, the farts start to come out from under the bed covers and the privacy of bathroom time becomes a long lost memory. You'd think there'd be more films dedicated to the realities of fledgeling romances which show things as they are, but then again perhaps they would cut too close to the bone and people wouldn't want to see the formative failures that they themselves have experienced playing out on screen. Film-maker Jack McLoughlin isn't shy about these things though and brings us one such film in his feature debut, Kate & Jake.

 

Everything about Kate (Sarah-Louise Chadwick) and Jake's (Michael Latham) romance is rooted firmly in reality. Their meet-cute is at a friend of a friend's party while they're smirting on the patio out the back door; their first date is at the local pub where they bond over laughing at strangers; they firm up their ties when Kate attends Jake's first solo gig as a singer-songwriter; and they jump into bed at a friend's apartment until they decide to get a place of their own. So far, so perfectly normal – but that is only the start of it.

 

Told in a mixed up time-frame, Kate and Jake's story lets us have a sneak peek at the latter stages of their relationship before pulling us back through the highs and lows and everything in between. There's some clever beard continuity going on to keep us on the right track while we witness these main events and the growth of the characters is easy to follow as their relationship and story progresses.

 

The dialogue flows quickly and easily between Kate and Jake with everyday conversations being the order of the day. There are plenty of real funny, intimate and revealing moments throughout and it's often hard to pick out where the real world ends and the acting begins, which is a real credit to the two main leads. Excellent support is provided by Anthony Devine as Jake's brother, Ian and the world is rounded out by a smattering of other family members and work colleagues.

 

Sadly though, this is where the true positives end. The direction is distinctly average with no real reaching for superior shots and the whole flow of the film comes across as fairly pedestrian. Shaun O'Brien is credited with creating an original score but it's almost impossible to pick it out from any of the scenes and the original songs suffer the same fate as they bang out from speakers in the background of pubs, clubs and house parties. The cinematography keeps everything looking like real life but again never really reaches for anything out of the ordinary. Technically there is nothing wrong or out of step with the entire production but in the same breath the film remains rather flat and stuck in a mire of mediocrity.

 

Jack McLoughlin isn't exactly new to the whole film-making business, despite this being his debut feature, but it does feel that he is cutting his teeth on this full length film. As a first attempt, at such a young age, it is still pretty impressive but it's obvious that he still has a lot to learn. There is definitely more than enough here to suggest that his next venture will be even better but in order for him to really break through into a fully fledged film-maker role it feels like he still needs to stretch his legs, spread his wings and really let himself fly.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Indie Feature Film