Claudia Restrepo and Derrick DeBlasis Are Star-Crossed Lovers

Mar 15, 2023

Life is beautiful and weird. People enter and exit our lives in totally unexpected ways, sometimes staying far longer or shorter than we ever anticipated. We get so fixated on our routines, our futures, on what our lives are “supposed” to be like by the time we get to different age milestones that we can sometimes get caught up in going through the motions. If things are going fine on paper, then the thought of being unhappy could seem almost irresponsible. What if we don’t even realize we’re unhappy until something disrupts our status quo? Peak Season poses these very questions, answering them in an honest and charming way.

Written by Henry Loevner and co-directed by him and Steven Kanter, this romantic dramedy follows Amy (Claudia Restrepo) and Max (Ben Coleman), a newly engaged couple who leave behind their work-obsessed lives in New York City to relax in a luxurious mansion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Well, to be clear, Max is the one who is obsessed with working. He is quite literally the definition of bringing your work home. He spends every minute he can (and even the ones he can’t) of their vacation responding to emails, joining impromptu meetings, and dealing with international clients for his job in supply chain management. And heaven forbid he misses a workout, either. He is someone who most definitely does not know how to unplug from the rat race, and views the very idea as a sign of weakness.
Coleman nails this character you love to hate, but is also sure to not make him completely insufferable so it’s believable that Amy, a woman so clearly not on the same page as him, would be with him for the long haul. Max quickly takes a backseat for the bulk of the film because the romance is actually not between the bride and groom to be, but between Amy and a local fly fishing guide Loren (Derrick DeBlasis). Loren is quite literally the opposite of Max. He doesn’t need amenities or luxuries (he sleeps in his car with his dog) or a soul-sucking—albeit financially lucrative—corporate job, but rather picks up odd jobs like teaching fishing to wealthy tourists, landscaping, or cleaning dishes at a restaurant. As long as he can be in Jackson Hole, one with nature, then he sees it as a massive win in his book.

When Max gets pulled into a last-minute work meeting, Amy ends up going solo to their fly fishing lesson. Sparks fly (no pun intended), but not necessarily the romantic kind, at first. There’s an easy comfort that comes naturally between Amy and Loren as the New Yorker’s inner free spirit slowly gets a chance to peak through. Loren unintentionally unlocks a new approach to life for Amy while she tries—but fails—to catch a fish. “The point isn’t to catch anything, okay? Don’t be so results-oriented,” he says, to which Amy responds, “Being results-oriented is like, literally, the basis of my entire life.”

RELATED: ‘National Anthem’ Review: Luke Gilford’s Queer Rodeo Coming-of-Age Story Is a Promising Debut | SXSW 2023

One of the many great things about Amy and Loren as characters are that they are not stereotypes of a nature enthusiast or a bustling, high-stressed businesswoman. Loren is extremely comfortable with nature and embraces it, but isn’t portrayed as a “hippie.” Amy isn’t used to this idyllic setting of mountains and not being so obsessed with a tangible result, but she isn’t intimidated or freaked out by the new environment. In fact, Amy’s had a sense that the fast-paced work life she previously had might not be for her. A point of contention between her and her fiance Max is that she took a break from her big job at Deloitte because she was experiencing burnout. If you are miserable with your job, but dollars are going into your bank account, Max wonders, then why would you ever quit the grind, and voluntarily settle into a simpler life?

Speaking of dollars, Peak Season boldly addresses the harsh reality of wealthy tourists swooping in and taking over. Sure, the influx of those with money to burn helps the economy, no question, but it’s stripping the once-quaint town of its charm and identity. People who have laid eyes on maybe three trees, tops, are flocking to Jackson Hole and buying hundreds of acres of land, building mansions, and wearing the culture and the lifestyle like a costume. This is perfectly embodied in the film by Caroline Kwan who plays Fiona, a family friend (and likely ex-girlfriend) of Max who’s in town for a conference. She’s almost always dressed head-to-toe in cowgirl-type clothes, ready to point out how she is effortlessly blending in with the locals. She will spend hours on a ranch looking at cattle, not in awe, but for the sole purpose of snagging a picture for her social media. There’s one scene where she gets frustrated with a cow for running away from her when she tries to take a selfie. It’s genuinely disturbing people like that exist and use this rarefied beauty as social currency, but fortunately, Kwan was there to skewer them hilariously.

When Max’s job forces him to return home for a few days, Amy’s free to live a bit more adventurously, which she hoped they would be doing together. She reconnects with Loren and they go on a hike (something Max didn’t want to do) and soak in the natural wonders all around them. This film goes out of its way to capture the beauty of the world that’s at our fingertips, something we would notice if we simply looked up from our screens. At one point, while beholding the insane view they took so long to hike to, Amy describes the majestic mountains as being so perfect that they look like a screensaver.

Peak Season depicts the power of unexpected connections and how emotional intimacy can be even more potent than physical. Amy and Loren’s rapport is reminiscent of The Office’s beloved Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer), as it’s filled with that indescribable comfort and closeness that has the simmering potential of morphing into something romantic—as well as that pesky third wheel significant other to get in the way of things. A perfect example of their playful bonding is when Amy tries to get to the bottom of why and how he ended up living this sort of life. “Everyone out here either has a second home or a second job,” he concisely puts it. “So what’s the story here? Religious Fundamentalist parents? Like what’s going on?” she asks. When he says he likes to do what he wants when he wants, she laughs at how he’s referencing Camila Cabello, a singer so famous, and yet, Loren has no idea who she is. Amy seizes this opportunity to tease him for being so disconnected, but at the same time, she longs to be as blissfully unaware as him.

At just around 80 minutes, Peak Season manages to craft a heartfelt, authentic, and endearing portrayal of friendship that will not only entertain, but will provoke some thought, too. Loevner and Kanter’s tight script, as well as the performances by the intimate cast, capture the complexities and nuances of relationships as we get older and life gets messier. Just like the Wyoming skies, the future looks quite bright for stars Claudia Restrepo and Derrick DeBlasis.

Rating: A

Peak Season premiered at the SXSW Film Festival.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
Publisher: Source link

People Are Really, Really Mad About Jewel's National Anthem Performance: "The National Anthem Should Never Be Changed Like This"

I think we've reached peak outrage with this one.View Entire Post › Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.Publisher: Source link

Jun 4, 2023

The Pride Accessories You Need for Everyday Celebrations

The brands featured in this article are partners of NBCUniversal Checkout. E! makes a commission on your purchase. Prices are accurate as of publish time. Items are sold by retailer, not E!. The month of June is often synonymous with…

Jun 3, 2023

Here Are 19 Behind-The-Scenes Moments When Halle Bailey And Jonah Hauer-King's Friendship Restored Faith In Humankind

Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King have proved that their friendship is one of the best things to come out of The Little Mermaid press tour.View Entire Post › Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not…

Jun 3, 2023

Proof Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel Have Officially Ended Their Feud

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is back in the Fast & Furious family. Six years after butting heads with co-star Vin Diesel, the actor confirmed that the two have made up. In fact, the two are in such a better place that Dwayne…

Jun 2, 2023