Joshua Reviews Ryan Sage’s Worth The Weight [Waterfront Film Festival 2012]

Romantic comedies come a dime a dozen. Turn your head, and you’ll run right into a comedic romance following the same tropes and conventions as the last one you’ve seen. However, when a romantic comedy comes along, makes you smile ear to ear, and truly allows you to fall in love with each and every character you meet, it is an absolute revelation. That’s exactly what Ryan Sage’s new film, Worth The Weight is.

As far as a film goes, it follows a rather standard plot. An out of shape former football player gets into a competition with a few friends, and in order to win and lose the most weight, he goes to the gym and meets an attractive young trainer. Polar opposites, the two have an almost automatic connection, but the road traveled is far from smooth. See, not much new. However, while this film may seem run-of-the-mill, it’s something so much more. Charming, affecting, well made and just utterly wonderful, Weight is a crowd pleasing comedy that will make everyone and their mother stand up and applaud come the conclusion.

Starring Robbie Kaller, the film’s strongest suit is in its performances. Kaller is an absolute revelation here, playing loveable lead, Sam. He’s a former football player who, after the death of his mother and the tearing of his ACL, leaves the sport, and proceeds to give up working out. Currently working at a bowling alley, he also lives with friends Miles (Tommy Snider) and LaShawna (Constance Reese). However, everything changes when he meets the beautiful and enigmatic Cassie, played by Jillian Leigh. All four of these actors give absolutely fantastic performances, taking your standard romantic comedy caricatures and giving life to them, fleshing them out into true, living, breathing characters. Leigh is particularly great here, and her chemistry with Kaller is enthralling.

Sage’s first feature, he’s proving to be an indie director to watch out for. Directorially, the film is vibrant. Great cinematography pops off the screen, and instead of trying to ramp up the style like say, 500 Days Of Summer, he simply lets the film and its moments breath. Having an assured hand with his comedic timing, the film thrives in these moments that Sage allows the characters to have some wiggle room, as these performances are only made even more fantastic by the wiggle room given by Sage.

However, it’s not without flaw. Dale Zawada writes the film’s screenplay, and it’s absolutely paint by numbers. Hitting every single rom-com beat right on the nose, there is little to nothing new here. Feeling a tad rushed, there are moments here that feel superfluous, while others don’t quite seem to be given the right amount of time. Motives are rushed to, lives are changed on a dime, everything structurally seems to be working at a break neck pace, particularly during the film’s conclusion. Aiding from a good 15 minutes more to its runtime, the film has a world so lively that you won’t help but be begging to spend more time with these people. And frankly, you’ll want to spend the rest of your days inside this film. Charming doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Joshua Brunsting

Josh is a critic, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, a wrestling nerd, a hip-hop head, a father, a cinephile and a man looking to make his stamp on the world, one word at a time.