SXSW15 Review – Life in Color (2015)

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LIC (1)

Life in Color is a romantic comedy, though not in the traditional sense. Mary (Katharine Emmer; Puccini for Beginners) meets Homer (Josh McDermitt; The Walking Dead, Mad Men) at a children’s party, Homer encourages Mary to smoke pot with him. Mary gets caught and fired, and on blaming Homer ends up living with him at his friend Adam’s (Adam Lustick; Invisible Forces, The Hitchhiker) house as she tries to put her life back together her.

Both Mary and Homer have difficult pasts peppered with depression. They both have goals that currently seem unachievable, Mary to become an architect like her mother, Homer to become a stand up comedian. The journey of the film shows them in some ways resolving or learning to live with their pasts and starting on the road to their own personal goals. My only complaint about the story of the film, is it almost seems too easy for them to make an impact once they make their decision. Though maybe that’s the point Emmer means with the film, once you start trying to achieve something, things will eventually fall into place.

Katharine Emmer wrote, directed and starred in the film and for a first feature it is a solid achievement. Some of the literalness of the storyline feels a bit clunky, Homer wants to be a stand up, so of course he’s working as a children’s party clown, but the actual emotion and dialogue of the film and the central relationship between Mary and Homer has real heart. Emmer has cited the Duplass brothers and Lena Dunham as her inspiration and in some ways you can see their influence in what she’s trying to achieve, and she’s almost there with it.

This “twist in fate, throwing two unsuspected beings together in unusual circumstances” is the start of every romantic comedy ever. However what makes Life in Color interesting is where the film goes with it, and thankfully it doesn’t go the clichéd romantic comedy route well travelled. A solid first film from Katharine Emmer and I look forward to see what she does next.


Alice Hubley

Genre: Comedy, Romance Venue: SXSW15  Running Time: 86 mins Director:Katharine Emmer Cast: Katharine Emmer, Josh McDermitt, Adam Lustick, Jim O’Heir