DIRECTED by: Brendan Prost Film Pulse Score: 7/10
Brendan Prost’s third feature film, Spaces and Reservations, takes a very real and contemplative look at a couple whose relationship is slowly falling apart. Like many real life relationships, there’s no specific event or reason behind the disconnection between them, which results in a much more grounded and thought provoking look at modern love. Sometimes couples begin drifting apart and decisions must be made to weather the storm or move on.
The film stars Zach White and Taylor Hastings as Jamie and Kacie, a young couple who have been dating for four years and are beginning to feel lost in their relationship. After both individuals meet and develop feelings for other people, the two must decide what the future will hold, and if what they had is no more.
The story moves at a very deliberate and methodical pace, putting a lot of emphasis on developing its two main characters. While this helps the viewer get to know and empathize with this couple, the film feels slightly drawn out with a run time of nearly two and a half hours. Unfortunately, like most real life relationships, these people’s lives just aren’t interesting enough to warrant that much time. The good news is the expertly crafted visuals and solid performances mostly make up for it.
The dynamic between Jamie and Kacie feels awkward from the beginning of the film, and not just because their relationship is on the rocks. The conversations feel stilted and it’s hard to believe these people have been together for four years. This changes in the final third however, when their interactions feel more genuine and natural. A lot of films tackle the idea of the breakup, but very few of them present it in such a stripped down and realistic way.
In terms of visuals, films like this should be used as case studies for film students to show that you don’t need millions of dollars to make a movie look good. The fact that this is a student film is immensely impressive, with an extremely high level of technique.
Spaces and Reservations is a long film to sit through and requires a certain amount of patience, however the payoff is well earned and won’t disappoint. It’s a refreshingly un-Hollywood love story that throws away theatrics and glamor and opts for a more simple, relatable, and realistic take. Though the real emotion isn’t felt till the final act, it feels worth the wait and results in a satisfying journey of love and loss.