‘In Stereo’: Film Review

Two takes on a failed relationship.

Narcissists love company in In Stereo, Mel Rodriguez III‘s look at a New York City photographer’s self-created romantic troubles. Wearing three hats in his debut feature, Rodriguez takes on at least two jobs too many, with the result suffering especially from a self-amused script whose ersatz-streetwise flavor isn’t nearly as convincing as the neo-soul music on the soundtrack. Commercial prospects are dim.

David (Micah Hauptman) bailed on an allegedly happy relationship with Brenda (Beau Garrett) when she suggested they up the stakes by moving in together. But a year and a half later he has moved in with a new woman, only to learn she’s sleeping with his best friend. “In stereo” is supposed to refer to the fresh perspective David gets on this doomed relationship while surreptitiously tailing his cheating lover, but it could also refer to a screenplay employing not one but two storytelling crutches, spelling out the character’s dilemmas both in a voiceover and in therapy sessions instead of dramatizing them.

The Bottom Line

Doubling down doesn’t help an uninvolving tale of lovelife crises.

Stereo also intends to take two angles on a possible reunion between David and Brenda, following both characters during the days surrounding a chance reunion. But it makes no convincing attempt to get inside Brenda’s head — and thank heaven for that, since the bratty actress is an even more noxious character than David, who fancies himself an artist but is really just a jerk with a camera.


Production company: Parkside Pictures

Cast: Beau Garrett, Micah Hauptman, Aimee Mullins, Mario Cantone, Maggie Geha, Melissa Bolona
Director-Screenwriter-Editor: Mel Rodriguez III
Producers: Danny Roth, Damiano Tucci
Director of photography: Bryan Koss
Production designer: Liz Merrick
Costume designer: Melissa Vargas
Casting directors: Lori Malkin, Kristen Paladino

No rating, 95 minutes