Just as Australia has been coming up with screen eccentricity in abundance in recent years, so has New Zealand been sending out extremely dark, highly imaginative thrillers to appreciative audiences across the world. "Heavenly Creatures" (a brilliant tale of obsessive friendship, marking the debut of Kate Winslet) and "Once Were Warriors" (a powerful story of blunt machismo, Maori-style) have been the most striking, accomplished examples.
As for director Garth Maxwell, how could he have lost his grip after the intriguing, rich, and extremely weird "Jack Be Nimble" and deliver "When Love Comes" as a follow-up? Whatever happened, "When Love Comes" is a major irritation indeed, a film full of posturing rather than real drama, marred by endless scenes that strive for significance but, because there is zilch at the centre, signify absolutely nothing at all. Why does the camera linger on Sally, apparently a hot guitarist, falling down at a gig? Why is she suddenly playing in the nude?
In a story about the need for friendship and love, specifically concerning a once successful singer returning home to her former acquaintances, the only energy is in the editing, which forces the film forward but in an abrupt, choppy manner. No flow, no class, no sense.