Reviewed by Phillip Waite, Ph.D.
Chronic illness isn't portrayed often in movies, or at all really. I suspect there are a couple of reasons for this. One may be that we don't want to see the hard realities of life portrayed on the big screen, but rather prefer fantasy stories with perfect endings. But I would argue that truth is better than fantasy. Whenever a book or film portrays real challenges like chronic illness, it gives us an opportunity to take a closer look at ourselves. It gives us insight into the heartbreak, the loss, the pain, as well as the joy we all experience. That's what the movie Love Simple does.
Love Simple, an independent romantic comedy, is really a character-driven love story. No major production values or special effects here. The film seeks to tell an authentic story about the characters Adam and Seta who fall in love after meeting in a Brooklyn laundromat. She is a young woman suffering from Lupus and he finds his life is less than fulfilling at home caring for his chronically ill father. Initially, they lie to avoid revealing the truth about their lives. As the story proceeds, their deceit unravels and they are faced with a choice: to give up on their relationship or try to save the it. After a series of health crises, Adam and Seta are forced to be honest with each other and about the challenges they face, despite the fact that their love may be threatened with the truth (no spoilers here!).
This is a very good movie with an "indie feel" and good performances. Perhaps the best thing about the movie is that it brings forth a broader discussion about what it's like to have a chronic illness when you're young, single, and in search of love. The directors were careful to ensure Lupus was portrayed realistically, although I have to agree with other reviews, it focuses more on the emotional aspects of the disease. Hopefully this will prompt other filmmakers to honestly portray the realities we face with chronic illness, and by doing so, will raise awareness and understanding. I recommend this film to anyone who believes love doesn't have to be complicated. It might also spark some enlightening conversations with loved ones and friends.
The film's producers will donate 100 percent of proceeds from the film's sale on the iTunes Store on May 10th to the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation in recognition of World Lupus Day. The donations raised will help raise money and awareness for the support, treatment and prevention of Lupus. The film is also available on DVD.
"World Lupus Day has special meaning to the film’s wonderful fans, and as such we wanted to do something special to help recognize this noteworthy day," said Mark von Sternberg, Love Simple's director. "Our commitment to the fight for lupus grows stronger each day, and we hope the one day special donation drive that family and friends of those with lupus will consider downloading the film to help support the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation."