SXSW 2021: “The End of Us”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The pandemic has brought many unforeseen changes to people’s lives across the globe. It broke families, tore them apart, made dreams vanish while hope barely survives. The cinematic world is still with us and keeps exploring socially relevant stories to be told, something that could happen to you or someone else’s life. That is what BuzzFeed Studios did by producing a pandemic comedy that is, surprisingly amusing.

Nick (Ben Coleman) and Leah (Ali Vingiano) have lived together for years. With her having a stable job but him trying to get acting gigs, it creates tension between the two which escalates when California orders a stay-at-home order. Not having a place to go, Nick stays with Leah, creating new obstacles in their already damaged relationship which gets more intense as the days pass by.

Written and directed by Henry Loevner and Steven Kanter, “The End of Us” is a pleasant comedy-drama that explores a dramatic relationship during COVID between exes. What is most interesting is how the characters evolve. Nick, for instance, is not a risk-taker. He does what he wants. Leah is tired of covering his expenses all this time. While money is a major issue in their relationship, there are lots of other things going on too, putting more pressure on each other. On top of that, COVID does not help them in reducing the tension that is already high up.

Having said that, “The End of Us” shows how much two people can accomplish during a pandemic. We have two lead characters who must learn to live under the same roof, cope with the lockdowns and not go crazy. However, the biggest test for both of them is yet to come, when the two must decide whether to truly move on from the relationship or do something about it.

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