As the years go by, 2020 and Covid-19 will be remembered for the tremendous amount of loss. From the loss of lives to experiences and the overwhelming anxiety and fear. It’s hard to think of anything good that has come out of it. But there may just be one thing…
Language Lessons is anything but ordinary and that is largely due to a globe altering pandemic. It is a major work of improv, Facetime, and innovation and is one of the best things I have seen in the past year.
Language Lessons is directed by Natalie Morales, who many may know as an actress from Parks and Recreation and Battle of the Sexes. Morales stars alongside Mark Duplass and they are also the film’s co-writers.
The 85-minute film is entirely composed of virtual conversations the two have as a man named Adam (Duplass) from Oakland is forced into taking spanish lessons from Carino (Morales), a language instructor who lives in Costa Rica.
A very simple premise takes a sharp dramatic turn and what results is an incredibly touching romantic comedy with absolutely no romance. Although the two are never in the same room, the chemisty between the two is absolutely electric and their comedic timing together is irresistable.
A film with ostensibly little complexity manages to hold so much emotional weight and that is credit to the incredible charm and charima that both Morales and Duplass carry from scene to scene. You fall in love with both of them as they fall in love with each other. They make you laugh til you cry, and then cry until they make you laugh again.
While other films have been done the computer screen desktop setup before (Unfriended, Searching) this is the best one I have seen. It allows the faces on the screen to tell a story and doesn’t rely on tricks or something else to make up for the limited scope of a webcam.
When watching a great film I often wonder: who do I know that will enjoy this as much as me? Often times that movie is an emotional drama, or innovative art-flick, and the answer to my question too often is nobody, or maybe my friend Ty… but for Language Lessons, it’s a resounding Everyone! It will be a movie I suggest to people for years and years to come. It is better than it ever should be! And thank you Covid-19 for giving us one good thing!