Act Like You Love Me (2013)
“A really fun story about family and love.”
Director: Dan Garcia
Cast: Essence Atkins, Christian Keyes, Denyce Lawton
Synopsis: A successful single young dentist hires a man to pose as her boyfriend when she is invited to her sister’s engagement party.
Although Act Like You Love Me, Dan Garcia’s little-seen rom-com, suffers from a plot that is just a little too tidy to be believable, it has some nice moments, a few acute observations, and a likeable cast. Essence Atkins plays Kelly, a thirty-something orthodontist who hires gym teacher and aspiring actor Chad (Christian Keyes) to pose as her boyfriend when she visits her parents for her bitchy sister’s wedding. Yeah, it’s the kind of plot that’s been kicking around almost as long as movies, but Garcia at least squeezes in enough plot twists to stop things from feeling too stale. Mum (Lynn Whitfield) is a reformed alcoholic who has started sampling the juice again since suspecting her husband (Glynn Turman) of cheating on her; brother Russell (Chico Benymon) is struggling to cope with constantly failing to live up to his father’s expectations, and smug sister Susan’s (Denyce Lawton) fiancé, Carlton (Reign Morton) is up to his neck in gambling debts.
Never for one minute are we in any doubt about the outcome of Act Like You Love Me, and the way that the various strands of the storyline are all resolved in one scene borders on the ridiculous, but up until that last five minutes the film does manage to keep us entertained while never coming close to breaking new ground. The acting is variable, with old pros like Whitfield and Turman effortlessly showing up their younger co-stars, but despite some sisterly bitchiness, Garcia manages to keep the tone light and palatable.
(Reviewed 24th October 2014)