As you may expect based on its title, the movie Spring begins with death & finality and gradually blooms into a colorful array of new life & reproduction. The muted, brownish haze of depression in the film’s color palette slowly changes into something much more vivid. The film’s own energy & creativity works this way as well. At first Spring feels like a cloudy, almost run-of-the mill romance story, but then it develops into something fresh & exciting. Halfway between a sci-fi horror Before Sunrise and a rom-com Possession, Spring refuses to be understood in the context of a strict genre. Instead, it feels like the blooming of something new & unknown.
It’d be difficult to explain too much of Spring’s plot without ruining what’s special about it. The bare bones premise is that a young American named Evan travels to Europe as a means of forgetting the mess that’s been made of his life. After a brief period of playing tourist with some wastoid jocks (“Bro, I fucking blazed the Wi-Fi code!”), Evan falls for an Italian woman named Louise that gives his life a new sense of purpose & excitement. There’s a struggle to convince her that their romance deserves a chance and the relationship becomes an outrageously exaggerated form of “it’s complicated”. Revealing too much about Spring’s story would be a disservice to you so I’m just going to have to stop there and ask you to take my word for it: it’s a great movie.
To illustrate how difficult the tone & intent are to pinpoint here, check out the genre listed on the film’s Wikipedia page: “supernatural romantic science fiction horror”- expialidocious. You can go ahead and add the word “comedy” to that list as well, as the film is frequently hilarious in a satisfyingly adult way, like the line “Mention WWII and every American becomes a historian” or in a scene where the main characters are arguing about whether an art exhibit is “fertility imagery” or “Roman porn”. The two leads at the heart of the film’s romance in the film may not be fully developed characters (little is done to define Evan as a person besides contrasting him with Wi-Fi code blazing macho types). Louise similarly is defined less by her personality and more by her circumstance. Much like with a lot of sci-fi, though, character development is not the apex of the film’s ambitions. Instead, their relationship is more of a launching pad for exploring ideas like the vulnerability of falling for a complete stranger & what it means to desperately beg someone to love you, even if you know they’re dangerous. The film becomes more & more funny-scary-sweet-sad-surprising as it delves into these ideas and it literally starts crawling with life: lizards, bugs, bunnies, howling cats, etc. Spring is just as rejuvenating & full of promise as the season it’s named for.