Scott reviews eCupid the newest LGBT romantic comedy for the electronic age.
Marshall (Houston Rhines) and his boyfriend should be an ideal couple. Sadly, as they enter the next stage of their lives together, the seven year itch is well and truly over and Marhsall feels trapped and frustrated over the lack of fizz in their love life. It is with this in mind that he finds himself tantalised by the promise of a new social networking application, the eponymous eCupid.
In an age where websites, computer programmes, and smartphone apps are the go to options for making romantic connections, eCupid would appear to be a film that speaks to our generation. That being said, instead of providing us with any great socially relevant humour, it fails to be engaging and interesting, resulting in standard MacGuffin for the film makers to take advantage of a pretty sub-par romantic comedy.
The film’s first problem is that we are meant to emphasise and relate to Marshall’s frustration and confusion. However, it doesn’t really work in this context as we are able to see the obvious love his partner has for him. This makes the eventual fall out bunderstandable and we found ourselves connecting more with his overworked and stressed out partner than Marshall as a protagonist.
Beyond the central premise the film begins to suffer from poorly developed characters and some slightly questionable acting. Every line is delivered with a noticeable lack of energy and sincerity which makes the film suffer once it gets going. In particular the malfunctioning app which leads Marshall into numerous comic scrapes feels like an unneeded addition to the already confused plot which is meant to deal with the realities of relationships which have gone stale. There is also a surprising lack of logic behind the storyline which mars the character development and storytelling.
One good point is that the film does play host to a pretty cast, which does give the audience something nice to look at while they are wondering why they are watching this movie. Another is the inclusion of the great Morgan Fairchild, whose quasi-angelic appearance does manage to inject a little bit of integrity back into the film. But this is tragically underused as she is allowed to steal every scene with ease. The wider cast however, feels like a list of bored clichés, including one particularly annoying young skater type whose only purpose seems to be to make Marshall, and everyone else, feel very very old. Even the central duo, who feel more organic and real than the rest of the production put together, are mostly wooden and don’t seem to have a lot of chemistry with each other, leading us to wonder how such a relationship managed to last as long as it did.
eCupid manages to cobble together a few good moments that are genuinely sweet and endearing. However, the inflated cast of two dimensional characters really lets the film down. Not to mention the plot device of an app with a mind of its own feels too contrived to create any real drama. Worth a watch but doubtful to be anyones favourite film.
eCupid is released on DVD on 14 May 2012 and is available for buy from Amazon UK.