Although it doesn’t have any CGI effects (or pathetic orchestral music for that matter) to announce it, “A Love Song,” Max Walker-Silverman’s feature debut, is set in a storybook of America. That is, an America where threats and threats do not exist, where people can get along quickly, thoughtfully and practically. Located in Colorado, in the middle of a sparsely populated and mostly peaceful campground, it lays out a life of few and simple pleasures, a life that reveals a more bitter attitude towards the passing of time.
We see its central character, Faye, from behind in the first minutes. He went out in a small trailer mounted on a van to retrieve a basket of crayfish from a nearby lake. He turned on an old transistor radio – the Longines Symphonette logo was still missing – and turned the dial. (Usually a well-crafted piece of Americana emerges.) Dale Dickey, the veteran actor who plays the part, has a well-drawn face that speaks of the hard years behind him.
Faye went about her day patiently, but it was clear she was waiting for someone or something. Opening a calendar, he closes his eyes, turns it with a magic marker, and when he puts it on a particular date, he writes in the square “Today”.
Shortly after, a little girl accompanied by a shift of cattlemen stopped and asked if Faye could move her trailer. It seems that the patriarch of his family is buried somewhere nearby, and they want to dig him up and rebury him somewhere where the scene does not include the newly installed oil rig, the only visible blot on view. Faye politely says that she is expecting a visitor to arrive at this exact location. The group accepted this and happily continued on their way.
Faye also accepts a dinner invitation from a married couple, played by Benja K. Thomas and Michelle Wilson, who welcome Faye to their nearby campsite and regale her with the story of their often postponed engagement, which was proposed by a couple of nationals there. parks during their travels. Faye is clearly jealous of the couple’s wedding rings.
As Faye prepares to hit the road, “Now” arrives. In the person of Lito, played by Wes Studi. He was like Faye said, which is to say not at all. However, their passionate but brief conversations fill in the pieces of their story and reveal that Faye is recently widowed. Lito and Faye go back and forth – they remember adventures from elementary school – but it’s unclear if they’re lovers. This appointment, apparently, was made with a perhaps tacit understanding that the possibility would be explored.
They fell into an almost instant comfortable exchange, mostly through music. Faye explains her radio to Lito: wherever you turn the dial, wherever you land, it will play the perfect song. With his electric guitar, Lito teaches Faye Michael Hurley’s song “Be Kind to Me”, and the following scenes depict the couple living the song, along with a calm and friendly dog said Lito.
And… that’s kind of it. “A Love Song” is a fun movie to watch. It’s well-photographed, carefully edited, full of beautiful scenes, and played by some masters with warm humility. One of his last lines is “Everything will be fine,” and the movie seems to believe that that is true, if we can afford to live simply like Lito and Faye. I probably don’t believe in myself anymore. If it had been me, I might have been more moved by this perfectly decent picture.
Shown in select theaters.