Rob (Benjamin Ratner) and Melanie (Angela Vint) are a couple that think they’ve found the key to solving all relationship problems – simply break up after 19 months. By then, all the romance, lust, and excitement of a relationship has worn off and both people involved are ready to test the dating waters. So, they agree to do just that, only they’ll remain friends with benefits until they each find someone else. To prove that their theory is correct, Rob and Melanie even allow a film crew to follow them around and ma…e a documentary about their last few weeks together. While Melanie instantly finds another man, Rob either A) tries to get Melanie back (including a hilarious scene where he steals all of Amy’s paintings) or B) tries to score with less attractive women.
19 Months does score, and the result is a surprisingly funny and endearing look into the life of the common couple. Although the documentary style of the film ultimately wears thin, and the movie would have perhaps been better off being straight forward, some good moments arise out of what is expected to be a bland low-budget romantic comedy. All the actors involved are more than competent, especially Ratner’s neurotic Rob and Vint’s mature and charming Melanie. In an age where the romantic comedy usually relies heavily on slapstick, the film-makers actually create well-rounded characters and supply them with good lines.
It amazes me that with budgets soaring into the millions, and actors far more heralded than the unknowns in 19 Months, Hollywood has lost sight of the romantic comedy and simply recycles the same junk over and over again. 19 Months may not be the movie to change Hollywood’s approach to making rom-coms, but they could take some pointers from movies like this one.
While 19 Months drags on occasionally, even at a 80 minute running time, it’s a familiar and funny look into modern couples and dating. Nothing you can’t get out of a repeat of Friends, but fun nonetheless.
Although a Dolby Digital 5.1 track is included on the disc, it’s nothing a 2.0 or even mono track couldn’t handle. The movie is strictly dialogue driven. The sound is totally clear and crisp, free of hissing or any crackling. Any trouble hearing dialogue is from the faux-documentary format in which the film was shot.
Shot on high-definition video, the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture for 19 Months is a sight to behold. There is no grain, no blurry images, or any other distortions common with big budget productions shot on film. Amateur film-makers behold, if you can shoot on hi-def, please do – it’ll make your movie that much more appealing. 19 Months is probably one of the best looking discs I’ve ever seen, and it was a low-budget movie from Canada… imagine that!
There are no extras to speak of.
With no extras and a complete lack of oomph in the audio department, 19 Months is still worth a look. While it won’t reach the cult status of Swingers anytime soon, the charm and heart of Swingers is present in 19 Months. Plus it looks damn good.