“It’s hard isin’t it… being a person?”
Fran (Daisy Ridley), who likes to think about dying, makes the new guy at work laugh, which leads to dating and more. Now the only thing standing in their way is Fran herself.
With Sometimes I think about dying, Rachel Lambert offers a film that lies somewhere between a romantic comedy and a contemplative film. An original work that is worth the detour.
When it comes to independent cinema bringing something new to the genre, Sometimes I think about dying is the perfect example. First of all, the picture isn’t all color, beauty and cheerfulness. On the contrary, it’s a monotone, almost dull, which perfectly suits the main character, who lives a boring life, with no twists and turns, until the moment of the encounter…
But unlike what we’re used to seeing in romantic comedies (especially Hollywood ones), this first meeting doesn’t set off any sparks. The scene is fairly typical of the kind of encounter we sometimes see in companies where a slightly over-motivated team leader takes charge of the human side of the business.
The shots are almost always fixed, the characters trapped in cramped spaces and settings that could be described as “beige”. But is it really a romantic comedy? Of course, since the film creates a meeting between two lonely people who find love in each other… or almost.
You could say it’s a romantic comedy with a much more realistic accent, featuring characters who find it hard to live with people.
But what makes Sometimes I think about dying a particularly good film is its screenplay – especially the dialogue – and Daisy Ridley’s solid performance.
Playing an introverted, almost unsympathetic character is no small task. Especially when it’s a character who must remain sympathetic and for whom the viewer must develop a certain attachment. This was Daisy Ridley’s mission, and she fulfills it admirably, delivering a character who is realistic, gentle and just enough of an outsider to make us love her immediately.
The accuracy of the performance is well supported by the dialogue, especially during the interactions between Fran and Robert (Dave Merheje). You know the kind of sentence that only an introverted, somewhat depressed person could come up with? Like, “How do you call a decaf coffee? A depresso.” Yes, that line really made me laugh.
At the moments that make this film stray from the classic romantic comedy, we also find more usual phrases like: “I like you. I want to get to know you, but you just won’t let me. And I don’t know what to do. It’s confusing.”
Yes, it’s confusing for anyone expecting a straightforward romantic comedy. But for those who want to be seduced, it’s a magnificent work of art, which arrives just in time.
Sometimes I think about dying plays on the theme of melancholy, but also on the idea that love should be accessible to all. But unfortunately, for certain types of people, human relationships are never simple.
With a musical backdrop that pushes the viewer into this gentle melancholy, with pieces like Sibylle Baier’s Remember the Day, Rachel Lambert’s film shows that the romantic comedy genre can be shaken up into something approaching the grandeur the genre lacks.
Here’s a work worth discovering as much for the lead actress’s performance as for the music, or the impeccable screenplay. We could certainly also mention Lambert’s self-effacing but effective directing.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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