What Love Looks Like is a rollercoaster of emotions, but in the worst way possible. The film is an hour and a half of confusion, cringe, and awkwardness. Some way, somehow though, there is enjoyment to be had watching it.
Director Alex Magña presents his film the exact same way most romantic comedies are presented. For me, when a film is presented in a way that grabs my attention and is unique, it can lend a lot to a not so unique story. Especially with rom-coms, which tend to be a genre that’s known for lacking in the style department. 2018’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a perfect example of that; a story we’ve seen a million times, but has its own flare and voice. In What Love Looks Like’s case, it makes the film feel like every other forgettable romantic comedy.
What Love Looks Like is an anthology film that explores multiple relationships all at different points in each respective relationship. On its surface, the film seems like it could be fun and interesting, but it’s execution unfortunately squanders all that potential. With any film that revolves around relationships, you need to feel invested and connected to the characters, but this film does neither of those things. Every pair’s story is incredibly generic, and you never endear to any of these people. Which falls entirely on the script and performances.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
There’s one word to describe the acting, characters, and dialogue: AWKWARD! Every performance feels forced, every couple has absolutely no chemistry, and every line of dialogue is cringe worthy. Despite all of those things being pretty negative, that’s where I found the most enjoyment in the movie. After accepting that the film wasn’t going to get any better, it started to become so bad that it’s good. I found myself laughing at the bad dialogue and performances instead of cringing after a while. Which made the film a worthwhile watch for me.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
What Love Looks Like is filled with awkward music choices and sound design. Everything almost feels cartoony, which doesn’t fit with the tone of the film at all. I was taken out of almost every scene of the film because of the odd choices made. Two characters will be sharing an intimate moment and the movie completely robs itself of that intimacy with loud, cheesy songs or sound effects that you would find in any online sound library.
There’s nothing noteworthy that’s neither positive nor negative in this department. Every location feels pretty standard and lived in. The makeup and wardrobe didn’t stand out or distract me from what was happening with the characters. Everything served its purpose quite well.
What Love Looks Like really tries to stand out in the romantic comedy genre, but unfortunately holds itself back from being anything special due to the clunky screenplay, rough performances, and boring presentation. If you’re in the market for a ‘so bad it’s good’ film to get a kick out of with friends, this could be the movie for you. But other than that, I can’t recommend this.