Nothing is as exciting as falling in love with your next potential boyfriend/girlfriend and when he or she shares those amazing feelings, things are getting even more special. That first kiss. First real date. The introduction to friends, families and when you’re totally ready for it, moving in with each other. At first, the blossoming love might still be present but sometimes you will start taking each other for granted due to which the excitement fades away. With all the catastrophic consequences. Director Darien Sills-Evans (Superior Donuts, Treme) decided to put all those feelings in One Bedroom, his latest feature film about the emotional rollercoaster of what being in love is. With its highs, lows and even some post-breakup sex, things will always become even more complicated.
Sills-Evans didn’t only sit in the director’s chair as he also stars in it. He portrays Nate who’s living with his girlfriend Melissa (Devin Nelson) in a modernized apartment in New York that belongs to his family. Living together might come to an end as she accuses him of adultery with not one but with multiple women. While she’s packing her things and moving out, he’s still trying to convince her that his loyalty for her has never changed and that she has it all wrong. Things aren’t getting better when her fear is being confirmed by witnesses who saw him getting up close and personal with other women. The relationship is on the brink of collapsing when Nate turn the tables on Melissa with proof that he wasn’t the only one cheating. Will he and Melissa forgive each other? Will they try and pick up their relationship where they left it or will it be over once and for all?
It might seem the regular story for a romantic comedy but it’s not. One Bedroom shows both sides of the relationship and shows that couples in relationships might each have a moment of weakness. Sills-Evans Brooklyn roots clearly shine through this movie especially when it comes to the both Nate and Melissa, the sense of community and sticking up for family and friends. Combine this with the vivid area they live in and it lifts the comedy aspect of One Bedroom to a higher level. Because of his television background, this newest work of Sills-Evans feels like one long television episode which is also one of the reasons why this film just works beautifully. It wouldn’t have been the same if someone else would have claimed the director’s title.
Of course, it’s not only a story that makes or breaks a movie. It’s also the acting performances. Because of the nature of the movie, the acting needs to be interwoven with the comic flair and in this film that’s clearly the case. At first, both the acting from Sills-Evans and Nelson might seem like overacting and too expressive but it becomes clear that’s just part of the story and the way the movie has been created. It highlights the confusing emotions from falling in love and breaking up even more. Again thanks to his television and comedy background, Sills-Evans is great as Nate, a guy who’s clearly in love with his girlfriend and who will do everything to win her heart again despite having some dirty secrets that are on the verge of being revealed. Opposite him, we see the wonderful Nelson as Melissa, who made up her mind about her cheating husband whilst forgetting that he might not be only one to blame for their shattered relationship. The comedy tone of this movie gets even better when both of those actors are surrounded by the likes of Amber Reauchean Williams as Cora (We Can Do It and weAR) and Jon Laster (No More Mr. Nice Guy, Carpool Rules).
One Bedroom already won some well-deserved awards such as Best Comedy Feature at Manhattan Film Festival and Best Director at Las Vegas Black Film Festival and it’s understandable why. It’s a very enjoyable romantic comedy about falling in love but also rejection and reflection about relationships. It is a must-see film.
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine