I just finished watching Love Simple, an indie film about an unusual love story: 2 twenty-something people in Brooklyn, NY who fall in love with each other, but then lie to each other about their lives because they are both afraid no one will accept them is they see their circumstances. Totally plausible, and something I can relate to firsthand.
Her secret, the important bit of info she is afraid to reveal to anyone she might be romantically interested in, is her diagnosis of lupus. He is also keeping secrets, but that's about all I want to reveal of the plot, because I hate it when people spoil movies.
Good acting, good casting, nice writing, nice music, and really great job of addressing these questions: exactly when do you tell someone you have a chronic illness? If you tell them the minute you meet them, they will always see you through the lens of illness. They may never get to know you at all, or well. I, for one, would rather people know me first, then find out about the illness second. But then, when do you spring this bit of info on them? The first time you meet them? 2nd? 3rd? If you wait too long, you feel like you're living a lie. When you've got a chronic illness and you're in your 20s and single, this is a biggie. You don't want to be alone, but you don't want to be a burden.
This movie may not depict exactly how tough it can be physically to live with lupus (Where is the exhaustion? Where is the joint pain? Where is the kidney failure? Where are the prednisone side effects- weight gain, moon face, and hair loss? Perhaps for the sake of keeping the movie viewable, these common problems are not addressed.)... But, it does a really nice job of addressing a lot of the emotional stuff that comes with it: people close to you abandoning you, wishing you could just be normal, wondering if you can find love- and keep it, not wanting to ruin someone else's life so you can have love.
Lupus is a disease that desperately needs more awareness, and this film is a big step in a really good direction towards getting people to realize this is a real disease, but behind the disease is a real human being, still very much worth taking the time to get to know.
Love Simple is a nice mix of humor and poignancy, one that makes you think, and it has heart, like all good indie films. Definitely worth seeing. I recommend it. It might even spark some interesting conversation afterwards with whoever you see it with.
Click here for info on how/ where to see it (at the moment, it is only available on itunes as a rental but will soon be more widely available. Portions of the proceeds of this movie go to the Alliance for lupus research):