Indie flick alert! We’re loving the modern love stories in “That’s Not Us”
Filmed over eight days on a micro-budget, with fully improvised dialogue, That’s Not Us is a contemporary romance story of six 20-somethings enjoying summer’s last hurrah, while exploring the universal struggles of being in long-term relationships. Set in a cozy gated community by the beach, this weekend getaway among besties is layered with the confusion and emotional turmoil that comes only with being invested in an adult relationship.
“We wanted to make a movie about young gay men and women in committed relationships,” director William Sullivan said in a press release. “We wanted to show characters who aren’t stereotypes or comedic relief, but are deep, thoughtful and emotionally complex human beings.”
The ensemble cast includes Mark Berger (our beloved producer of People of New York), who delivers a heartbreaking performance as James, a 20-something who is fearful that his boyfriend Spencer’s acceptance to grad school will create too many unknowns for their future. Their story plays out alongside two other couples — one lesbian and one straight — all facing the complexities of commitment, and struggling to find resolutions. Amid romps on the beach and late-night drunken card games, we witness small moments of conflict finding their way to the surface.
A step forward in terms of normalizing LGBT relationships, the film doesn’t focus on the struggles that gay couples face vs. straight ones. Instead, it depicts the common issues that any couple would encounter, regardless of sexuality: avoidance of true intimacy, a loss of passion, a fear of growing apart. Traditional problems for young couples in a world where the word “traditional” is becoming a more inclusive.
That’s Not Us is available on iTunes and can be streamed on digital platforms using AppleTV and Chromecast.