AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
published December 31, 2007
The West Wittering
released by Lifesize Entertainment
The West Wittering Affair
is a smart British Comedy which skillfully mines the slippery slope that is casual sex and betrayal. When giving into libidinous curiosity,
four main characters become stuck in the way of their own lives like branches in a current.
We begin with Jamie (Danny Scheinmann), a thirty-something average Joe who is invited to a seaside resort for the weekend by two
of his female acquaintances, Kathy (Sarah Sutcliffe) and Natasha (Rebecca Cardinle). Jamie accepts each woman’s advances and subsequently
and respectively beds them. Because this is so out of character for Jamie he visits a psychoanalyst, Greg (David Annen), who, upon hearing
of the affair, realizes that his wife (Natasha) was one of the seductresses. What follows is in turns tragic, beguiling, and more than a
little bit humorous.
Directed by David Scheinmann and based on a story by Danny Scheinmann and Sarah Sutcliffe, this is a film shot in a mere ten days,
but over the course of three years. Without a script, what holds it together are its strong performances and profoundly insightful
dialogue. For instance, when Greg intones to himself, "I’ve lost the plot," we can emphasize with his frazzled desperation. Stylistically
the bear bones cinematography has a documentary feel that is organic and unmannered. Kathy’s video diary scenes relay a powerful candor -
it is times like these when one begins to suspend disbelief and forget that this is a fairly unmapped fiction. Chronologically, the
film jumps about to great effect thanks to Karoline Moser’s ingenious editing.
As the film’s second half progresses, the increasingly outlandish twists and turns gain momentum while decreasing the
believability the director has to this point earnestly achieved. Jamie, Kathy, Natasha & Greg each in their own way attempt to
make peace with the overlapping past while they concurrently risk dragging more innocent bystanders into their path. All of the while they
hold fast to their deceptively simple aim ... closure.
chadmenville @ stageandcinema.com
NOTE: The West Wittering Affair is the
winner of the Jury Prize at the Cinequest International Film Festival