A dark and somewhat bitter dramedy, director-writer-star Adam Christian Clark’s Newly Single is a punchy character piece that really draws you into its orbit. The central character (loosely based on and played by Clark himself), might alienate some viewers, however the film manages make him both monumentally obnoxious and extremely likeable. Walking that fine line is no easy feat and Clark impresses with with this edgy indie, which comes across as a Los Angeles-set Woody Allen-style relationship film for the Instagram generation.
Adam Christian Clark plays Astor Williams Stevenson, a writer-director who has just broken up with his girlfriend. It’s only been a week but that doesn’t stop him from checking out the LA singles scene in order to pick up a selection of one night stands. His overconfidence and self-centerdness begins to put a strain on his latest film, a drama with a hip, young bankable cast. Something’s gotta give.
Newly Single is filled with some wonderful little character beats and it’s a credit to Clark’s writing, direction and performance that he makes Astor a character we want to spend time with, even though he’s something of a dick. It’s a well-balanced piece of characterisation and it shows a deft hand – one false move and the whole thing would have crumbled. The supporting cast also impress, even though many of them have a single, post-coital scene. However, Molly Quinn gets a more to do as Astor’s Scientologist ex, as does Jennifer Kim as one of his more frequent flings.
The film’s visuals have a nice naturalistic sheen – Newly Single feels like an independent movie – but it doesn’t look cheap and it’s eclectic soundtrack helps draw you into the young, hip world of downtown LA.
Highly recommended for those who like their relationship dramas with a bit of bite, Newly Single is dark, edgy and acerbic. Adam Christian Clark’s film impresses and he stands-out as a unique voice in the US indie scene.