THE PHOTOGRAPH tells the love stories of women throughout generations of their family, as they struggle to love people. It settles on the story of Mae and Michael, who meet at a time in their lives that’s not conducive for love. Mae broke up with her boyfriend when he proposed. Michael has just broken up with his girlfriend and applied for a job in London. However, they seem to be drawn to each other. So, when the time comes, they have to figure out if they should stick together or separate.
THE PHOTOGRAPH is pretty poorly told, with an extremely predictable script and a huge lack of chemistry between the main two actors. The lack of chemistry is a death knell for the movie. Also, the actors themselves don’t seem very invested in the story, and each scene feels as if it drags on for eternity. Besides this, the movie offers almost no redemptive elements, with the pursuit of love and career happiness being the driving forces. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE PHOTOGRAPH, which contains brief foul language and sexual immorality.
(RoRo, L, SS, N, A, DD, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Romantic worldview as the characters pursue romantic love or the pursuit of an artistic career above a relationship with family, there is no reference to God or look to Him for guidance in life decisions
Four obscenities (including one “f” word) and two light profanities
One partially depicted fornication scene, implied fornication a couple of other times, a child is conceived out of wedlock, a man recalls dating an older woman and talks about her sexual desires
Upper male nudity in bedroom scene
Alcoholic drinks throughout the movie, no apparent drunkenness
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A woman briefly recalls when she began to smoke marijuana as a teenager, but nothing shown; and,
Family dysfunction including multiple mothers who have difficulty growing close to their children and being able to love others in a healthy way, people gamble on the outcome of a relationship.
THE PHOTOGRAPH begins back in the 1980s when a young woman and man are beginning to fall deeply in love with each other. They live in Louisiana, and although Isaac is happy living the simple life and wants to settle down with a wife, Christina wants something more than the small town where they live. Her mother also discourages the relationship, telling her that Isaac is just like his father, who never had anything in life and never will. Christina loves him and, despite her mother’s advice, takes a weekend trip to New Orleans with him and some friends.
However, when they return, the urge for the big city overcomes Christina, and she jumps on a bus to New York City, not telling anyone about her plans. She arrives in the city and gets a job as an assistant for a fashion photographer. As soon as she can afford a phone in her new apartment, she calls her best friend from back home to say hello. She knows that Isaac has to be furious with her, but little does she know that their not getting married is not the worst news. Her mother has passed away and was evidently sick for a while. A few years later, she’s working as a photographer, with a little girl who accompanies her on her jobs.
This little girl grows into Mae, a successful art curator in New York City, who’s now dealing with the sudden passing of her mother, Christina. A young man named Michael Block is writing an article about her mother, and suddenly their lives come together. He asks her some questions about her mother, as well as the man who he went to meet in Louisiana, Isaac. Although she doesn’t know Isaac, their flirting leads to her telling him that she will call him soon to talk about her mother more.
However, Michael is one who becomes easily entranced by a new woman, and he can’t wait for her to call in order to see her again. He shows up at a foreign film showing at the museum where Mae works and conveniently bumps into her. He asks her to dinner after the movie, and they are soon sharing a sweet kiss at the table.
A few days later, a hurricane hits New York, and the couple head to Mae’s apartment, where their love making is interrupted by the electricity going off. They evacuate to Michael’s brothers house where Mae meets his family. She also learns a bit about his ex-girlfriend from his nieces, and when the storm finally ends, she also finds out that Michael has applied for a job in London. Mae also has some news in a letter that her mother left her that’s been weighing on her, and she feels that she has to go to Louisiana to settle things. However, when Michael finds out he’s gotten the job in London, they have to decide if this romance is going to be able to go the distance.
THE PHOTOGRAPH is told through a series of flashbacks where the audience learns more about the love stories throughout the generations of Mae’s family. The story is extremely predictable, and the audience could guess the ending at about 10 minutes into Mae’s story with Michael. There’s also little to no chemistry between the two main characters. The lack of chemistry is a death knell for the movie. In fact, the actors themselves don’t seem very invested in the story, so each scene feels as if it drags on for eternity. Consequently, what is meant to be a longing and loving exchange, seems like two people just talking. The little girls who play the nieces of the character Michael are the most shining parts of the movie, bringing humor and light to the extremely brief time period they’re on screen. There is also hardly anything redemptive about this story, showing the pursuit of romantic love and careers, without any real depth to it. There is also inappropriate sexual content, with multiple implied sexual situations and one partially depicted sex scene. Media-wise moviegoers won’t enjoy seeing THE PHOTOGRAPH.
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