Green | Movie review
In her feature-directing debut, Sophia Takal grapples with jealousy.
Sophia Takal’s first feature, Green, was inspired by jealousy and paranoia on the set of 2010’s stellar, underseen Gabi on the Roof in July, on which she collaborated with her personal/professional partner, Lawrence Michael Levine. (He directed.) Her fears about her now-fiancé falling for other actresses led to this queasily therapeutic work. Condescending Brooklyn blogger Sebastian (Levine) is prone to mansplaining and generally ill-treating girlfriend Ginny (Kate Lyn Sheil, Takal and Levine’s roommate and one of Gabi’s cast members). They move to Virginia for a year (he plans to blog about gardening) and meet local Robin (Takal), whose big, fake-y Southern accent and lack of sophistication initially prompt the couple’s mutual sniggers. But Robin is pretty, and Ginny fears losing her rather worthless mate’s affections. Soft-core visions of adulterous fornication fill her head.
Takal casts herself as the other woman, reclaiming the alluring power she worried about losing while filming Gabi—a goal whose urgency doesn’t extend to viewers. Levine makes a recognizably infuriating wastrel, and his selfishness during sex scenes is totally convincing. Takal (with DP Nandan Rao) has a good eye for master-shot framing, but the almost–love triangle never develops any tension. Jealousy, we know, is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on, but there’s a lack of dramatic protein in this particular manifestation.