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Love Always


Love Always

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Marisa Ryan (Major Dad) plays a free-spirited young woman who, six months after leaving her high-school-sweetheart in Spokane, decides to hitchhike back to him. Instead of ending up bleeding, bound, and gagged in some godforsaken backwoods swamp, she encounters a series of colorful characters, each slightly more annoying than the last. First there's the manic hippie caricature, followed by a riot-grrrl band (the kind whose members read Chomsky while wearing big smiles), a lecherous mobster, and a photographer deeply immersed in the L.L. Bean lifestyle. Each person must be meant to take Ryan closer to some sort of realization, but when her character is limited almost entirely to enthusiastic moaning and the sort of faux-clever witticisms usually heard coming from people you try to avoid talking to at parties, it's difficult to tell or care. Unless you're a beautiful woman with no apparent ambition or interests of any kind who must choose between marrying a man whose apartment features a beautiful view of downtown Spokane and becoming a professional drifter, Love Always will probably not speak to you. Shallow, unfunny, and often sloppily put together (what exactly happens to the gambling-addicted brother who appears in the first few scenes?), it also, as with almost any road movie, features several scenes of scenery-enhanced driving set to the sound of cliched driving songs. Movie cars must just come with a tape of "Green Onions" as a standard feature. Ryan somehow succeeds in being more appealing than her character, but this quirky, twentysomething-targeted comedy is pretty dire. There is also a magic Viewmaster involved.