How to Watch: “One Love”

Movie Still from "One Love"Step 1: Applaud a great short film when you see one. Examining the sometimes painful consequences of childbirth, One Love is a well-crafted 15-minute movie that leaves you wanting more.

Step 2: Realize bringing a new life into the world isn’t always easy. One Love proves this, giving us just a small glimpse into seven peoples’ lives, all of whom are in various stages of having a baby. Set in a hospital, one couple (Polly Shannon, Josh Kimmel) are excited about the impending birth of their child; one couple (LynLin Lue, Russell Yuen) are at the hospital for his broken nose when an unexpected complication in her pregnancy suddenly becomes a major issue; one infertile couple (Natacha Noel, Benz Antoine) are anxiously awaiting to take home their newly adoptive child; and finally, one very drunk and very reluctant pregnant woman (Vanessa Matsui) is brought into the hospital by a kind stranger (Jon-Paul Khouri) after her water breaks. We only get to see a few scenes in each story, but it’s enough to elicit a wide range of emotions. To be honest, it’s sort of gut-wrenching.

Movie Still from "One Love"Step 3: Thanks to the cast and crew for said wrenching of guts. Going along with the same idea of less is more, these actors are able to bring you in, convince you of their dire situations and convey heavy emotions in a short period of time. Matsui is particularly heartbreaking as a woman who clearly isn’t ready to be a mother, while Lue and Yuen [pictured] provide just a few lighthearted moments as the bickering couple in the waiting lounge. This also all boils down to a finely tuned script; Denise DePass and Victoria Minkoff are writing from experience, having both gone through that most mystifying miracle of childbirth themselves. Trust me, that experience shows in One Love. And finally, the film gets its expert direction from D.J. Matrundola, who beautifully intertwines these narratives into one seamless thread. He definitely has the touch.

Step 4: Remember you got to start somewhere. Just like short stories, short films can be highly underrated, and it’s damn hard to find some of these little gems unless you are on the festival circuit. There’s the YouTubes of the world, of course, on which you can watch any number of short films, but that’s not really quite the same thing, is it? If things do go well for One Love, and it gets some quality notice, maybe they’ll consider expanding it for a feature-length release. I mean, I’d like to find out more about these characters and what happens to them, gosh darn it! Don’t leave me hanging …

Level of difficulty in watching One Love: Easy – except the subject matter is a bit tough.

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