A bittersweet take on the twentysomething tribulations of young adulthood when messy matters like love and work need to be sorted out and soon, Only For You sheds a sensitive and humorous light on how the choices we make and when in our lives, get fleshed out down the road as fate. Written and directed by Donna Persico, the film also touches on the friendships and surrogate families formed in the interim, that help get us through the more complicated crossroads on the way to maturity, for better or worse.
Dana (Kate Albrecht) clings to a dream of one day becoming an accomplished actress, but in the meantime she supports herself by pet sitting in her Portland, Oregon neighborhood, to pay the rent. While taking part in a local theater production, she meets Jack (Michael Buie), a handsome cast member and sports writer for a Portland newspaper. Instant chemistry between the two materializes, along with some brief, intense romance.
But complications quickly arise and transform the hot attraction into an awkward platonic relationship, because Jack is living with another woman. Settling for much less and burying her unrequited heartache, Dana is devastated when Jack announces that he’s proposed to his girlfriend. At the same time, Jack realizes his ambivalence about pending marriage, when he weighs that decision against the buried, deep feelings he has for Dana.
Only For You explores these dilemmas with a subtle and tender touch, while avoiding pat solutions or easy emotions. Persico does have a more solid grasp of her female characters, in particular the bonds they form that carry them through life. And the drama would have certainly benefited from more space to flesh out these intriguing characters. But the journey through these conflicted lives, sketchy as they may be, plays out with uncommon generosity and affection.
2 1/2 stars
DVD Features: Scene Selections; Trailers.