‘Bad Romance’ is described by its makers as comedic neo-noir. It tells the story of Rob (played by Sanjay Rao), a socially awkward lonely looking for love. He comes up with a crafty plan to help him meet other women…. he is looking for a man named Jack S who is responsible for killing his wife. He meets Hannah (played by Emily Trent) a bartender who used to be married to a man named Jack S.
Hannah agrees to help him track down Jack S and that allows Rob to get closer to her. But what is real and what is not? The film takes us on a journey as we discover how Rob’s plan unfolds and how other characters affect what seems to be Rob’s reality.
The film is in classic black and white. Giving the immediate impression that this is a typical noir-style film. But ‘Bad Romance’ turns out to be more than just a typical crime novel. It passes more as a romantic comedy with the aesthetics of film noir. It is not dark, creepy or violent in any way. But it does keep the pacing a tone of a crime noir.
The film also has a narration style where Rob’s voice walks us through some of the things happening on screen. But the perspective sometimes switches to that of Rob as the events unfold.
The film is written, produced and directed by Chad Hamilton. You can tell that he is a creative writer and sought to experiment with this mashup of genres and styles of storytelling. The film is generally as much a crime noir as it is a romantic comedy and the elements just blend seamlessly.
The film however requires you to be very attentive and focused on it. I found myself lost each time I took my attention off the screen for a few minutes and returned to it. It is almost as though it gets a bit confusing after a while if you do not pay close enough attention.
What saves this film is the comedic elements. It doesn’t try so much to be funny. It is just witty in a way that makes you even forget about the intended noir-style look and feel that was given to the film. Sanjay’s performance helps with all this as well. He is witty and presents a likeable funny persona that sells the comedic elements of the film. The dialogue is cleverly written allowing for some very crafty jokes and puns.
It seems as though the story gets more complex as it reaches its climax. But by the end, it tries its best to fill you in on everything that might have escaped your attention. That however does feel overwhelming.
In the end, this a just a film about a lonely man looking for love told in a uniquely complex way. But would it work for everyone?
I would rate this film 6/10.
‘Bad Romance’ is one of those films that requires that you have more than just one watch to fully appreciate it. However, that shouldn’t stop you from seeing it. You can check out Bad Romance on Amazon Prime, VUDU or Tubi TV.