So I had quite imagined what I’d be getting with the new film Across the River would be pretty much a quirky kinda meet cute sorta touchy-feely fun and funny frolic of a take on an extemporaneous contemporary romance. And while there are some elements of each of the preceding incorporated into this absorbing tale by Director Warren B. Malone, I’m happy to report that there’s more going on here than one may originally anticipate. And by one I mean me.
Elizabeth Healey (“Doctor Strange”) and Keir Charles (“Man Up”) play a pair of Londoners who used to be a couple of lovers. The relationship ended as neither of them would ideally have had it be so. In the face of a transportation mess, the two wind up bumping into each other again. They then spend the rest of the movie trying to navigate their way across the Thames in a concerted effort to reach respective celebrations at which their attendance is required.
Sure there is zaniness and frivolity to be had. But it amounts to more than that. For we see two people coming to terms with a past that perhaps should have been but was destined not to be. And an exploration into where life post-split has landed each of them at the moment.
There are laughs. There is solemnity. And there is regret. Healey and Charles are each superb in their natural manner of bringing all of these emotions to us as this unusually engaging chronicle unfolds. The fact that much of what we hear spoken between them is improvised on the spot infuses an enhanced sense of both immediacy and authenticity into the rekindling of, at the very least, an amicable relationship. Though it can never be more than that.
And yet, if we are to lend a particular interpretation to the final frame of “Across the River”……can it?