REVIEW: ‘What Love Looks Like’ is a Boring Look at Love

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What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like is a romantic comedy directed and written by Alex Magaña. The film follows five love stories that are interwoven together. Through the ups and downs of each relationship, the film explores the emotional journey of finding love.

Starting with an unlikely relationship between two people who sleep with each other after a date but end up despise one another until reconnecting on an app, to a man learning to let go after the loss of his significant lover, the film focuses on the unlikely ways love finds you. What Love Looks Like features what are supposed to be relatable characters, however, because of the often cringy dialogue and poor acting, the relationships feel like caricatures of reality. This isn’t helped by the often upbeat background music that is more reminiscent of a The Sims game than a romantic movie.

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like wants more than anything to be endearing but more often than not, the characters just come off as creepy. Nicole (Kate Durocher) is stuck in a relationship where she is not appreciated. Her boyfriend, Owen (Josh Gilmer) pays more attention to his phone than her. This is played up an almost comically impractical amount. In hopes of catching Owen’s attention and after getting advice from her Aunt, Nicole starts dressing sexier. After going out with a friend for her birthday she meets Jace (Trevor Sean).

Jace is clearly meant to the character to sweep her off her feet and show her how she deserves to be treated but to be honest, Jace raises just as many red flags as Owen. After one night and driving her home, he runs into her in a bookstore and tells her he wanted to camp out at her block in hopes of seeing her again. The movie plays it off as adorable. But between the strange dialogue and the fact he grabs her face at one point to tell belabor the point she is worth more, his actions, after meeting her just once, are bizarre. Nicole and Jace are fascinating to watch in the same way Bella Swan and Edward Cullen were fascinating to watch. You know there are red flags but it is still intriguing.

The most compelling part of the film is Sam’s (Nathan Kohnen) narrative. Sam recently lost his significant other and struggles to move on. After making a friend, Evie (Ashley Rose McKenna) he closes himself off in fear of becoming close to her. Kohen’s acting is the most believable of the group and his chemistry with McKenna is also the most captivating.

What Love Looks Like

Outside of Nicole and Sam’s stories, the other couples are mostly forgettable or painfully awkward outside of a few cute moments. There is very little chemistry between the characters which makes the mediocre acting and subpar dialogue stand-out even more. The love story between Summer (Jamie Shelnitz) and Calvin (Connor Wilkins) is unromantic and Calvin’s various transphobic comments, that are played for laughs while they speak on a blind date app, are offputting. While messaging Sam, he mentions that the app says she is female and proceeds to ask for proof. Sam responds to the joke by offering to send her urine. While played off as a joke, the fact that trans women, particularly women of color, are murdered at alarming rates makes the dialogue unsettling. Many states still consider the LGBTQ+ Panic Defense,  a legal strategy that asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is to blame for a defendant’s violent reaction, including murder, to be valid. In addition to those issues, the stories do not really interconnect and there is no overall plot keeping them together. Because of this, the film feels choppy as it moves from story to story.

What Love Looks Like is not the worst romantic comedy I have ever seen. While some moments are odd, it is hardly offensive. That being said, it is boring. The characters are not engaging and the scenarios do not feel relatable because of the awkward and clunky dialogue. With so many scenes that are just bizarre, the quality of What Love Looks Like is not too far off from Hallmark or Lifetime movie. But to be honest, if you are craving a romantic comedy there are much better things streaming.

What Love Looks Like is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.

What Love Looks Like
4/10

TL;DR

What Love Looks Like is not the worst romantic comedy I have ever seen. While some moments are odd, it is hardly offensive. That being said, it is boring.