The only problem I had with director Andy Dodd’s romantic dramedy is that it wasn’t a little longer. With another fifteen to twenty minutes added, “It’s a Love Thing” could have really become an excellent feature. But that’s a mere nitpick, because “It’s a Love Thing” could have been four hours and I’d still be complaining that it wasn’t long enough. “It’s a Love Thing” is a beautiful and engaging drama about two children in a big world that find one another in the midst of the randomness and find out that love is better than anything around them. Including Star Wars.
The performances from the child cast are shockingly natural and often times incredibly adorable. Indie filmmakers have a hard time grabbing good performances from child performances, I’ve found, but director Andy Dodd makes it look like a cake walk when directing his two stars Hollie Thoupus and Pete Overal, both of whom form a very natural romance as they find a kinship in their complicated and often sad world. Thoupus plays Jessica, a new girl in town whose father has her constantly moving to new cities, and is not intent on injecting herself in to the populace until she meets young Andrew. Andrew is a Star Wars fanatic who takes an interest in Jessica when she appears at class with an “Empire Strikes Back” shirt, and the two begin to form a friendship that evolves slowly in to pure love between two children looking for someone to connect with.
Andy Dodd doesn’t rely on cutesy dialogue or grating one-liners, but instead plays off of the charismas of both young actors to offer audiences a very raw and realistic bond that is gorgeous and often times engrossing to watch. With every coming of age, there’s heart ache and the grim reality of time passing, and director Andy Dodd handles the story very well with an ending that’s just gratifying without every feeling forced or saccharine. “It’s a Love Thing” is a pure dramatic force that deserves a solid fan base. With a slew of rich performances, and wonderful direction from Andy Dodd, “It’s a Love Thing” is an entertaining and gut wrenching romance with a beautiful look at young love that will keep audiences on baited breath from beginning to end.