Sundance Journal: ‘The End of Love’

Within mainstream cinema, Mark Webber is probably best known for his role as Stephen Stills in ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘. For those of you with your fingers one the pulse of indie cinema, you might know him from his many smaller films. It may not really be the case, but it seems like he appears in three movies at Sundance each year – which actually is the case this year. Of those, Webber not only stars in ‘The End of Love’, he wrote and directed it too.

‘The End of Love’ is such an interesting film that I’m excited to conduct interviews with Webber and his cast this week. (Yes, that’s a shameless plug for interviews that will be appearing on the High-Def Digest main page). Honestly, the making of the film is quite interesting – but you have to know the story to understand why.

While Webber plays the main character in the film, his two-year-old son Isaac fights to take the leading role position from him. Although the movie is a fictional piece, Webber plays himself, his son Isaac is played by his real son Isaac, and every other character plays his- or herself – with the exception of Shannyn Sossamon, Mark’s two roommates and a handful of background actors. In the film, Mark’s wife/fiancée/girlfriend (I don’t believe which is ever made clear) has passed away, leaving him and his son completely alone. The entire film is about Mark’s attempts to be a great father, which never allow him time to grieve or land any acting roles. Everything bottles up and Mark is about to burst. All he’s looking for is a little help and inspiration.

Despite sounding dreadfully sad, know that while it dabbles in darkness, ‘The End of Love’ isn’t a downer. It’s a movie about growth and moving on, picking up the pieces and starting again, never giving up and playing the cards you’ve been dealt. Keeping it from slipping into despair is Isaac, one amazing little kid. If you have or have had young children of your own, this film will especially entertain you because it captures everything that makes small children great. Webber is a fantastic actor, but his son steals almost every scene he’s in. You’ll wonder how Webber got his son to play an active role in the movie despite his very young age. (Of course, I’m not going to tell you his secrets here. You’ll need to read my interview. Stay tuned!)

The characters who play his friends are another fun element to the movie. As you might have guessed, they’re his friends from real life, including Michael Cera, Jason Ritter, Aubrey Plaza, and more. Each plays a character based on his or her real-life persona. For those who have been following Webber, it’s fun to see how many of these people are from the films he’s previously worked on – mostly ‘Scott Pilgrim’.

Introducing ‘The End of Love’ at its Sundance world premiere was the head of programming for the festival. In his introduction to the movie, he spoke of watching Webber in Sundance films for years, and always enjoying his abilities manifested on screen. After several years of seeing Webber in film, he deemed ‘The End of Love’ Webber’s best yet, and I have to agree.

Rating: ★★★★½

1 comment

  1. Sounds like an excellent movie! Can’t wait to see it! Looking forward to your interview as well (at least you always take the time to actively listen to your subjects).

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