Lovers of Hate (2010) Poster

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7/10
Lovers with Twisted Psyches
tigerfish5010 November 2010
Rudy's relentless negativity and resentment at the world is causing his life to unravel. He's lost his dead-end job, his marriage has disintegrated and he's living in his car after his wife Diana has thrown him out of their home. To make matters worse, his brother Paul is a successful writer of fantasy fiction, visiting town on a promotional tour for his new book. Sibling rivalry prompts Rudy to persuade Diana to conceal their break-up and pretend they're still living together. When this pathetic deception comes apart at the seams, the fallout pushes Diana into the arms of Paul, who has always been attracted to his sister-in-law.

'Lovers of Hate' sets off as if it intends to be a quirky offbeat comedy, but soon ventures into darker territory. The three actors turn in fine performances as Rudy, Paul and Diana fall deeper into a claustrophobic labyrinth of deceit. The film soon turns into an entirely original entity, combining elements of suspense, romance and black comedy. As the story unfolds, the three characters struggle to extricate themselves from their increasingly dangerous and volatile predicament.
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9/10
Believable
jwaters15181 April 2010
Lovers of Hate tells the story of a social outcast who's entire life has been outshadowed by his kid brother Paul. Rudy, the "failure" so to speak, can't hold a job and is living out of his vehicle. He tries desperately to hide the fact that his relationship with Diana has eroded knowing it would give his brother the one up. The conflict between brothers becomes more complicated when Paul and Diana end up together. Although Sundance knocks the character study for making Rudy off to be too childish in dialogue, I found the ending lines poignant, and allows forgiveness of Rudy's behavior earlier in the film by shadowing what has led up to this point. It was a remarkably touching film that did what it set out to do. My only real complaint within the movie is its length. The film wasn't remarkably long, but at times scenes did drag on. Overall, I feel the film was an accomplishment. 9/10
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4/10
One note tale of self-entitlement and sibling rivalry would be better as an extended short
Turfseer11 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First time feature writer/director Bryan Poyser has offered up a tale of sibling rivalry that is so over the top, one can scarcely believe such characters exist in real life. His story revolves around Rudy who has just been dumped by his wife Diana and is living out of his car. He briefly works as a census taker and ends up trying to hose himself off at a car wash (taking his clothes off in the alleyway next to the place) as well as taking a shower in the home of an elderly woman who he's canvassing for the census.

When Rudy's brother, Paul, a successful young adult fantasy novelist, is in town and they plan to get together for dinner, Rudy goes back to Diana and begs her to go out to dinner, pretending that they're still together. Diana reluctantly agrees as a last time favor for her ex-husband but Paul senses something's wrong at the dinner. Later, Paul calls Rudy who claims he's at home with Diana but Paul has driven to Diana's home and can see her through the living room window, quite alone.

Rudy is the penultimate loser who's never finished his novel, 'Lovers of Hate' but expects Paul to once again mention him to his agent. Paul has been enabling Rudy for years and puts him up in a motel for a few days and returns to Utah, where he lives in a posh, expensive home, in a gated community. Rudy decides to pay a surprise visit to Paul and drives six hours and then sneaks into Paul's home.

The bulk of 'Lovers of Hate' takes place in Paul's house. Rudy is shocked to find Paul return to his home with Diana, who are now having a hot and steamy affair. However, Rudy finds he's unable to leave the home without setting off an alarm and he's stuck there and must endure seeing and hearing Paul and Diana make love. Rudy finds himself unable to flush the toilet (which would reveal that he's in the house), and Paul ends up blaming Diana for the 'misdeed'. After finding the same thing happening the next morning, Paul speaks with Rudy via cell phone, still unaware that he's in his home. Rudy tells him that he was in the house briefly and Paul fails to mention this to Diana. Later, Rudy unsuccessfully tries to erase the last four pages of Paul's new novel on his laptop. Rudy then successfully drives a wedge between Paul and Diana by leaving his picture on Paul's computer. When Diana sees this and realizes that Rudy has been watching them all this time and Paul knew that he was there and didn't tell her, she storms out, never to return to Paul.

One wonders why such a rich and successful novelist as Paul would go for the plain Diana. Given his social station, wouldn't he have many women at his beck and call? This is never explained during the film. As for Rudy and Paul, they are both such distasteful characters that there's no one to root for here. Rudy is vile due to his narcissism and gross sense of self-entitlement. Paul is not much better as he claims to love his brother but then seduces his brother's ex-wife.

Are we supposed to admire Rudy's resourcefulness in facilitating the comeuppance of his brother at the film's end? It's a really a pyrrhic victory for Rudy since he's no better off than when he made the trip to Paul's home. Perhaps the fact that he was able to get Diana to leave his brother will give him some satisfaction coupled with that wave of acknowledgment from Diana at the climax but there's still little hope that she will take up with him again.

Lovers of Hate is a one note concept that might have been better has an extended short. As a feature length film, the machinations of the principal characters go on far too long and we simply can't care for them since they have few redeeming qualities. The actors do a decent enough job but are boxed in by the laborious script. Lovers of Hate earns points for being quirky and offbeat and it's eminently watchable. Ultimately, however, it' not a film that will stick in your mind for long and I would be hard pressed to watch it again.
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5/10
Weird melange that doesn't seem to know its own journey or destination
L. Lion19 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Lovers of Hate is a strange drama about a situation that begs for catharsis, but never delivers. Tension builds throughout, without payoff. Strangely watchable, but uncomfortable and unsatisfying.

Rudy and Paul are brothers. Rudy, the older, has wrecked his life. Paul, the younger, is very successful, a success (in a tangential way) built on contributions from Rudy. Paul has also harbored feelings for Rudy's estranged wife Diana for years, and with Rudy out of the way, he makes his move, inviting her to his chalet in Park City Utah for the weekend. Unknown to him, Rudy had decided to drive up and visit Park City at the same time and breaks into Paul's house in order to surprise his brother. When Paul shows up with Diane, Rudy decides to play the ghost rather than reveal himself. He conceals himself in the too-large house, listening to their conversations and leaving little hints as to his presence.

While this sounds like a strong build-up to something cathartic - either a dramatic confrontation or a murder spree - we never get either. The characters don't seem to have any arc. Rudy arrives a bitter loser - does his experience hearing his brother and ex-wife candidly discuss him (between sessions of knocking boots) change him? Not that I could tell. Paul is incredibly underwritten - all we ever really discover about him is that he is wealthy, has a treadmill he runs on in the morning, and has a thing for Diane. Diane comes the closest to taking full form because she is conflicted about what she is doing. I had mixed feelings about the performances - Heather Kafka does the best job of making her character sympathetic. Doubek as Rudy mostly cringes in corners making faces and letting his three-day beard and unkempt hair act for him, and Karpovsky never imbues Paul with any recognizable attributes other than a desire have sex with Diane. The brothers are so wimpy that watching the film became something of a chore. Another thing that bothered me was the casting - Karpovsky and Doubek do not look anything like brothers. Would it have killed the producers to at least find actors who resembled one another? For all of that it is still an oddly watchable film, primarily because the fuse on what must be a final explosion continues to burn. But then it never goes off. Several of the scenes have a strong horror-film flavor as you can feel Rudy lurking just outside of the shot, but there are no horror movie thrills because Rudy remains inert. That's not a bad thing - Rudy isn't a killer - but it does pose several questions that the film completely fails to answer:

1) What was Rudy attempting to achieve by continuing to stick around? He commits some minor mischief, but aside from that he never acts, he just sits there and hears the people he is closest to say things about him that we already knew from the first ten minutes of the film. If he is going to be the hero - and the film is told from his point of view - then his actions to change himself are what will make this journey of interest. But he never does anything.

2) What was Paul really trying to accomplish with Diane? His attempts at romance with her are only modestly successful. Is this really about getting back at Rudy, which is hinted at?

3) What is the result of this meandering journey? The final shot of the film is perplexing to say the least.

The canned shot-on-HD-video made the film rather unappealing to watch. Because it was shot in a ski chalet with giant windows in winter, daytime shots at the house has an overexposed washed-out feel due to the snow reflections. Shots in dark interiors or at night have a red-hued washed out feeling as well. The exterior shots in the mountains look nice.

My recommendation is that this is not ready for prime time - there is an interesting movie to be made here, but the writer-director has only uncovered about one-third of it.
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