In The Matchbreaker, the Vetter Brothers deliver an articulate romantic comedy that is both funny and sweet, without the faintest trace of crude banter. It's the kind of shocking thing which should make movie lovers, and in particular romantics, sit up and take notice. You can be funny without tainting the waters.
Here, down-on-his-luck Ethan Cooper (Wesley Elder) finds himself backing into a new profession: breaking up relationships on behalf of disapproving parents. He finds that he is good at playing the friend, the one who grants good advice that women end up taking on their way out of relationships. The cost on his own relationships is obvious, even to him, but he's never found true love and this is a good way to make money. What does it cost a man to gain the whole world but forfeit his soul?
Suddenly though, life interjects Cooper's childhood crush, the beautiful and talented Emily (Christina Grimmie, in her first and last onscreen performance). When the collision of his job and his crush arrives, Cooper's worldviews on love, friendship, and money are all suddenly under the microscope. Cooper isn't alone in his self-examination, but he is certainly the focus of the Vetter camera.
The director of said film is Caleb Vetter, who also co-wrote the film with Elder and has a bit part as "Emo Girl's boyfriend." But Cory Vetter ("Gym Girl's Boyfriend") is the cinematographer, and Courtney Vetter ("Teacher") is in charge of production design. It truly is a family affair, which is appropriate, given the way the film takes romances in isolation, and makes it a matter of community, from parents to partners to friends and neighbors. Truly, The Matchbreaker points us to recognizing that all relationships are interrelated, that all of them have positive and negative impacts on other people. Past lovers, current friends, etc. Everyone is impacted.
While the film itself is "clean" and, some might say, innocent, it is a complicated representation of what it means to date, to court, to pursue relationships in love and truth. Rather than simplifying things, the script allows us to see many views of how relationships happen - and asks us if we're being completely honest with ourselves and others. There's beauty here in the midst of the comedy, in the midst of one man's tragic trajectory - until love breaks through.
The film arrives in theaters on October 7!