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This movie will change the way you think about classic romances.
Normally I hate love stories. I feel like everything about love has already been said and nowadays it's just the same stories over and over, characters filled in with the same qualities, flat and bland actors who evoke no empathy or compassion.
Having these views on all romance stories, "Anything But Love" completely surprised me. The story was so real, yet not cliché or boring. It's an old and common story (A girl is faced with a decision between love or money -- a plot that I've run across many times in musicals) but it brings a new and realistic light to the idea. Billie Golden (Isabel Rose) plays an aspiring middle-aged cabaret singer with little experience and few places to go, yet -- like so many other aspiring artists -- is very very talented. In the beginning of the film, she gets fired from her regular gig (in fact, the only gig she's ever had) that her family has been doing for generations.
Her best friend, Marcy (Ilana Levine), suggests that she audition for a new gig. However, when she shows up, the accompanist, Elliot Shepherd (Andrew McCarthy), makes mistakes that cause her to look amateurish and unprepared. Needless to say, she didn't get the job. Afterwards, while drowning her miseries, she runs into Greg Ellenbogen (Cameron Bancroft), the most popular guy at her old highschool, now an impressive business man. The two begin to date, despite their clashing career goals.
Billie gets a chance to show one of her other talents to her boss -- playing the piano -- he re-offers her the job, provided that she be able to accompany herself. She begins her quest to find a piano teacher and, after a few humorous attempts, finds one who is very promising -- ironically the same guy who screwed up her audition. Despite their differences, she becomes a successful pianist, and the two start to have an amazing amount of chemistry.
But while Billie's piano teacher is making her dream seem all the more likely, her boyfriend is constantly discouraging her and trying to manipulate her into marrying him for an obvious business advantage. However, their feelings become impossible to deny after a very heart-moving make-out scene. They make plans to get rid of Greg, make both their dreams come tru, and let their love prosper.
The plot takes a dramatic twist when Billie's mother (Alix Korey) declines into alcoholism and tries to kill herself. Greg offers to pay for her rehab, and she is unable to refuse. She then accepts his marriage proposal and starts to reform from an Audrey Hepburn wannabe to a successful business man's wife -- one who should be seen and not heard.
The ending is overwhelmingly happy, yet still very realistic and untrite. No one is left unsatisfied; this is a definition of an effective feel-good film. This movie is a breath of fresh air in the midst of today's darker and more depressing films. I highly recommend it.
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