In the tone of Love Actually and Conception, Six LA Love Stories follows multiple narratives of couples that are steeped in romance or love lost.
I have to give the movie credit for vetting six very different types of stories that deal with love.
People of many different ages, sexual preferences and walks of life are subjected to this most basic yet wondrous instinct, much like in the world we live. These stories also have a range of tone, from humour to jealousy, from lust to drama.
Of course, any movie titled Six LA Love Stories should have a star studded cast right? This movie will not break your heart in that case, it features Beth Grant (Jackie, Donnie Darko) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Spaceballs, Memento) as a guide and single tour participant at a Will Roger’s Museum.
You will scream with surprise over Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo, Bosch (TV)) as the husband confronting his wife about sleeping with another man.
In a bit of novelty casting, legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (The Tell-Tale Heart, Pearly Gates) plays a motivational speaker to take the stage during one of these tales of the heart.
It should be noted that Antonia Bogdanovich is one of the Producers and the Production Designer of Six LA Love Stories, she is one of Peter Bogdanovich’s daughters.
Six LA Love Stories was directed by Michael Dunaway (The Man Who Ate New Orleans, 21 Years: Richard Linklater) and marks his first narrative feature, he has directed Documentaries prior to this.
Michael Dunaway also stars in one of the segments as a man who despite the odds, has an ex-girlfriend who still finds him irresistible.
Unlike other multiple storyline movies such as Go and Four Rooms, these characters and the narratives of Six LA Love Stories do not connect with each other.
By keeping these elements totally disjointed left me feeling this movie missed an opportunity to resonate with a unified through-line. Yes, these all have the common setting of California and feature couples, but the reasons for these short stories to be combined into one movie end there.
There are several writers credited on Six LA Love Stories and from that I can only speculate how the writing came together. Michael Dunaway is listed as a writer twice, so I am guessing that he wrote two of these stories.
Chris White (Sub Rosa (Short), Gaffe (Short)) is also credited as a screenwriter so he probably penned one entry. There are also three other writers who are credited as writing plays that contributed to the movie.
It is likely that those three plays filled out the run time and were written in screenplay form by the two screenwriters. It was probably not a difficult task to find writers with one act plays that deal with love in LA.
Honestly, the experience of watching this movie felt like six different short stories edited together without much forethought. Do not get me wrong here, some of these vignettes really responded to me and were very entertaining.
Such as two party crashers bonding over their aimlessness, or the aforementioned middle-aged pair who have a love hate encounter with each other at a Will Roger’s museum.
You may find that the other stories are the ones that speak to you. Ultimately, that is the fun of this type of movie, Six LA Love Stories is sure to appeal to the different sensibilities of the audience.
The directing and visual approach of this movie was rather static. There was no camera movement or strong motivation behind the craft of filmmaking in Six LA Love Stories.
There are some minor issues with the production sound and audio design, but nothing too disorienting. The individual writing and acting was excellent but it all could have been elevated through its handling in production and post.
The movie has a slender total run time of 80 minutes, which worked out well in the end.
Six LA Love Stories is now available on DVD, Digital and VOD platforms. If you or your better half have an affection towards films with multiple stories or Romantic Comedies, add it to your watch list, cuddle up and press the right buttons.
Curt Wiser is the Writer, Director of the Suspense movie Cam-Girl. As a filmmaker and artist he loves to pass on a kind word about other movies and share them with the world.