A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE – written and directed by Geordie Sabbagh – SPOILERS
Unpublished novelist Adam (Dylan Taylor) tells his girlfriend Tracy (Meghan Heffern) that he plans to fix the plumbing while she is at work. She suggests that he finish his novel instead. Adam whines a bit about not being able to pay half the rent (something Tracy seems totally unconcerned about), and suggests that maybe it’s time to “let the dream die”. Then Tracy goes to work, and Adam heads to the local coffee shop to write. He is met there by Emma , who introduces herself as Death.
Emma (Melanie Scrofano) tells Adam that his time on earth is up, but that he should be happy about it. After his demise (she explains), Tracy will get his novel published and it will become the greatest novel of all time. When Adam remains reluctant to die after learning this, Emma takes an instant liking to him. They spend the rest of the day together, as Emma tries to make sense of why Adam wants so badly to continue living. (Emma claims to only be able to predict what will happen after Adam’s death, and says that she sees what happens before he dies only as a series of choices. The implication is that his influence on the lives of others is made a fixed and immutable thing after his death, because Tracy will have no choice but to get Adam’s novel published.)
It turns out that Emma has a crush on Jimmy Stewart. She brings this up because of the obvious parallel between Adam’s situation and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. (Emma died before that film was released, so her job as Death’s Messenger must allow her enough free time to see a movie once in a while.) She specifically tells Adam that she is not there to make him realize that life is worth living. She is there to close his file and deliver his death. (She proves she is Death by flirting with a guy in a suit (Benjamin Ayres) who promptly keels over.) Emma offers Adam other deals as tests to determine his character, and with every bargain he rejects, she likes him more.
Taking comparisons to Jimmy Stewart movies a little farther, Tracy, as played by Meghan Heffern, is quite June Allyson-like.
The story brings to mind the 2003 TV series DEAD LIKE ME, which was set in Seattle and focused on Georgia (Ellen Murth) who became a reaper when a chunk of orbital debris fell on her. Emma was also killed by something that fell from the sky (a World War II bomb), but while Murth’s character was conscripted into the ranks of reapers, Scrofano’s character volunteered. She believed that her soldier fiancé would die in the war, and wanted to personally guide him to the afterlife. It didn’t work out that way.
The film’s best scene is when Adam initially tries to explain his encounter with Death to Tracy. It is (unfortunately) the only scene involving all three characters (Tracy, Adam, and Emma) together. Because Tracy is not scheduled to die, she cannot see Emma, and that gives the scene a connection with another Jimmy Stewart movie (HARVEY). There is another, similar scene involving a waitress named Amy (Jess Salgueiro) who also cannot see Emma and who flirts with Adam, possibly at Emma’s magical suggestion.
At one point, Adam stops in a bookstore and examines the shelf where his book would alphabetically fit. (Adam’s last name, Loule, is mentioned only in a quote typed at the beginning of the film.) The shelf contains a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Some of the books, like Farley Mowat’s “A Whale for the Killing“, and Melville’s “Moby Dick” are well known. A google search for many of the others yields nothing. Either these are extremely obscure titles, or someone took the trouble to make several fake dust jackets for the scene.
The film could have used a crisper edit. It drags in spots, but Scrofano’s charm saves it every time that happens. Not to be too spoiler-y, but in the (very satisfying) ending, all three characters get exactly what they want.
A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE is available on iTunes Canada. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray (Region 2) in Germany as Rendezvous mit dem Tod (Rendezvous With Death). It can also be streamed on the Arthouse CNMA Channel.
Angela Besharah (mom in park with baby) will be a nurse in Episode 13 of the comedy/drama IN THE DARK, which stars Perry Mattfeld as Murphy Mason, a young blind woman who, while out for a walk with her guide dog, stumbles over what she is certain is a dead body (she thinks it’s her roommate Tyson) in the alley outside her apartment. By the time the police arrive, the body has vanished, and the cops don’t seem inclined to investigate. IN THE DARK airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. A trailer is available on YouTube.
Jess Salguiero (Amy) will be Robin in THE BOYS, an eight-episode web series starring Karl Urban, Anthony Starr, Elisabeth Shue, and Erin Moriarty, based on the comic of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The story happens in a world full of corrupt superheroes. The “Boys” are a bunch of vigilantes without superpowers who make it their job to take down these supervillains. (Starr and Urban both appeared in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. Erin Moriarty was Hope Schlottman in Season One of JESSICA JONES.) YouTube has a trailer. THE BOYS will be available on Amazon Prime Video sometime this summer.