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‘Show Me What You Got” review: Whole is much greater than its parts

Three’s company.

Show Me What You Got will sound too arthouse to some audiences. Shot in black and white, the film is about three millennials whose lives are in transition. Cristina, Marcello, and Nassim are able to find the love and adventure they are looking for in each other. When someone from the past comes crashing into their lives, the joy they have found comes to a screeching halt.

Director Svetlana Cvetko has shot a beautiful film. The lustrous black and white adds to the story that is being told. Show Me What You Got is all about watching its three leads fall in love. Even the steamier moments have a vulnerability that adds to the emotions felt. 

Show Me What You Got has a French New Wave feel to it. This goes beyond the narration that permeates the film. It is documentary-like in its execution at times and the story can be seen as a modern take on Francois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim. This in itself will be enough to satisfy certain audiences, but it also points to the movie’s biggest flaw.

This is definitely a case of style over substance. It is gorgeous to look at and the 21st century take on the French New Wave is neat, but Show Me What You Got has a threadbare story. There are too many plot conveniences (Marcello is rich, enabling to do whatever the plot requires) and the characters are generic. 

Show Me What You Got also has very little tension. There is great chemistry between the three and the lead performances are fantastic. But aside from watching them explore their lives, the story offers little. The plot is about love and living in the moment, but little else.

This becomes a much bigger issue when circumstances take the group to Italy. At this point, the plot revolves around the actual characters. Show Me What You Got has not built up the characters enough to make these moments interesting. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Show Me What You Got opens in virtual theaters February 12

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