Relationships are tough, and filming relationships for the big screen is even tougher. How many times have you watched (insert romantic comedy here) and thought, "Real people in real relationships don't do that or talk that way or race through the streets on foot in an attempt to stop the person they love from boarding that airplane to Fiji." But then again, if we really filmed the mundane goings-on of your average relationship, is there really anything cinematic about that? Newbie writer-director Jay DiPietro totally thinks the "realness" of the relationship is what's most fascinating, and with Peter and Vandy, his first film, DiPietro teases us with several glimpses -- moments, really -- of a relationship between two young New York City lovers.
Like several other films here at Sundance this year, the story of Peter (Jason Ritter) and Vandy (Jess Weixler) is told out of order, with bits and pieces from the beginning, middle and end chucked into a bowl, tossed, and thrown in front of the audience to dissect. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't -- in the case of Peter and Vandy, the non-linear plot does, at times, feel like a gimmick or a device to simply make the film a little more interesting. But then you get to moments like near the end -- when we're on their first date at an Indian restaurant -- and it's a scene that means more and feels more alive because we know these people now, and we've been on this journey with them.