2017 Los Angeles Film FestivalEntertainmentFilm

LA Film Festival Review: Becks is a refreshing take on post breakup stories

Relationships may plummet but losing the one with the self can be the most devastating, especially after the destruction from a break up.   The heartfelt ‘Becks’ made its premiere on June 15 at the LA Film Festival as an entry in the US Fiction competition.

Although it may have a plot similar to many of the those other “rebuilding oneself” stories, the rawness in the details, such as her inside out t-shirt she wears during her at-home sulk, the cunning one-liners she shares between her brother and ex-boyfriend (Dan Folger) and the strong relationship development that takes place, truly make it a joy to watch.

“Becks” speaks to anyone following the painful suits of a break up, whether that be romantic, plutonic or even a relationship that has gone astray within a family, especially through the reminiscent details such as gardening, fixing leaky faucets and binge-watching “junk” TV or anything that could keep the mind busy to curb the aching.

But the strongest relationship that directors and writers Liz Rohrbaugh and Dan Powell play at is the one of that with the self and how to reestablish it when one is suffering from a major heartache.

Rebecca aka Becks (Lena Hall, Tony winner of “Hedwig”), takes her heartache to song, backed up by her trusty guitar, after driving cross county from Brooklyn to LA.  During her post break up with her rock star girlfriend (Hayley Kiyoko), she struggles to make ends meet by moving in with her Catholic mother at her childhood St. Louis home, by giving guitar lessons and singing in her high school ex boyfriend’s bar, Perfectos.  She then meets Elyse (Mena Suvari, “American Beauty”) who becomes an unlikely friend and turns her world around.

Though relationships circle all throughout the film, the one between Becks and Elyse is the most refreshing.  Their friendship truly begins when Becks gives Elyse guitar lessons. Early on it is incredibly clear that though both women are complete opposites, Becks, as a struggling musician and Elyse who seemingly has a perfect life with a rich husband and living in an upscale house, will become friends. Seen during each guitar lesson, as both are there to support another, they are also there to help one another to come in terms with themselves. This can be seen in the scene when Becks is getting ready to play at Perfectos for another night.  As Becks looks at herself in the mirror, she becomes frustrated with her same appearance and decides to change her hairstyle to someone new. Although a simple fix, this seems to notion her desire for getting out the post break up slump she has been in and look at herself in a different way.

Another clever way the writers portray this self-growth of Becks is the use of the soundtrack. Deemed by Rohrbaugh and Powell, “Becks” is a “musical” that features the many selections from the real-life inspiration to the character, singer/songwriter Alyssa Robbins and creations by music producer Steve Salett. With songs that start off in devastation such as “Rabbit Hole,” transition into those like “Uncanny Valley” portray the steady progress she is making to get over her ex-lover and the strength she finds in herself.

Overall, though “Becks” is like many post-break up stories it proves to be a refreshing take.

“Becks” will also make an appearance at the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, June 15-25.

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