Two grown sons are dealing with the fact that not only has their father died but their mother is becoming her own person in the new movie Love After Love. Suzanne (Andie MacDowell) was married for decades but now that her husband has passed she’s looking to move on, including finding some new form of companionship. That causes tension between her and both Nicholas (Chris O’Dowd) and younger son Chris (James Adomian).
In both cases the tension has more to do with their own lives than that of their mother. Nicholas is dealing with the imminent failure of his own relationship while Chris has deeper issues that are worrying everyone in the family. Regardless, they both find the fact that their mother is now on her own troubling in some regard, providing the story’s drama.
Two posters appeared around the same time. One uses a triptych format to show three photos, each one with a closer view of Suzanne as she walks down the street. A couple critics’ quotes are used while under the title the copy reads “No one tells you want comes next.
On the other we have a split image of O’Dowd as Nicholas looking very somber and serious. The same tagline is used. On neither does the full cast appear, nor is there any other explanation of the story or the relationships.
An initial trailer that showed many of the characters but didn’t feature any dialogue was released just around the time of the movie’s Tribeca 2017 premiere. It certainly sets the tone and gives some insight into the story but not a lot. It’s basically just there to create first stylistic impression.
The second trailer doesn’t offer much in the way of a linear presentation of the story but we do get the important bits, including that Suzanne’s husband has died and left a big group of family and friends behind. It’s shown that Nicholas is not a fan of how his mother is actually doing something with her life, seeming to feel she needs his approval, or that anything she does is a betrayal of his father. There are plenty of title cards with quotes from critics with positive things to say about the movie, particularly MacDowell’s performance.
Online and Social
There’s just a few basics on the single page IFC Films has setup for the movie, including the trailer, posters and other details. Not surprising given it’s getting a limited, VOD-centric release.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing I’ve seen, though there may have been some limited online ads run.
Media and Publicity
The movie had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, where MacDowell talked about what drew her to the material, the lack of quality roles like this for women over a certain age and more. A few months later it was picked up by IFC.
Director Russell Harbaugh talked about how he was able to get the movie made as well as his reasonable expectations for its success. And MacDowell talked about her life and career and what the movie has meant to her.
This isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. The campaign isn’t very clear about the story or the characters and what there is often seems inaccessible and occasionally off-putting. But that’s part of the message, that this is difficult and should be dealt with as such. The rest of the performances are almost afterthoughts, this is MacDowell’s showcase through and through and she’s the strongest value proposition offered to the audience.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.