IFF Boston: Lovers of Hate

27 April 2010, 6:25 pm

It’s tricky to summarize Lovers of Hate in a way that indicates some of what makes it so interesting while avoiding spoilers. It’s fundamentally a story of two brothers’ sibling rivalry. Paul (Alex Karpovsky) is the very successful author of a Harry Potter-like children’s book series. Rudy (Chris Doubek) is, well, not doing so hot: the opening scene finds him trying to take a sponge bath in a car wash before he goes to work. Rudy’s jealousy of Paul finally gets the better of them, and therein lies the tale. But a synopsis doesn’t convey the crazy seesaw act that Lovers of Hate manages. On the one hand, there’s broad, physical comedy that sometimes verges on slapstick. On the other hand, there’s a lot of emotional realism shot through with dark wit. This is a very funny movie, but it’s a squirmy sort of funny. Karpovsky and, especially, Doubek turn in bravura performances, which is critical, because it’s important that neither brother completely usurp the audience’s sympathies. Heather Kafka is also excellent as Rudy’s estranged wife, Diana.

Lovers of Hate was my introduction to writer/director Bryan Poyser, and now I want to see everything else he’s ever done. Highly recommended.

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