There is something about the French that evokes whimsy and passion. Paris is touted as the romance capital of the world. The language is oozing with lust and the men and women who reside there, are to be envied and adored. But give me NYC, anyday. There are so many stories just waiting to happen. In 5 to 7, we meet Brian, (ANTON YELCHIN) a 24 year old, down and out writer who won’t quit following his passion. He wallpapers his apartment with rejection letters but never stops creating. One day, by sheer chance or perhaps by fate, he looks across the street to find a stunning, French brunette smoking a cigarette. This moment is the catalyst for the entire story. Arielle (BÉRÉNICE MARLOHE) is a married 33 year old woman with two children and a unique understanding with her husband. The two and affair but with rules in place; only from 5-7pm. Arielle’s husband has a mistress, as well. She is Jane (OLIVIA THIRLBY), a 25 year old editor, who has followed the rules for a year already. Brian is welcomed into the “family” with open arms, everything is out in the open, and as unusual as it seems, somehow it works… for the while at least. At some point, sharing the woman of his dreams is too much for Brian to bare and an ultimatum is presented.The angst in this film is palpable. The heaviness of the situation and the excitement is wrought from the very beginning. There is something so wrong with this arrangement and yet you cannot help but root for them, and for everyone. The struggle between happiness and traditional thinking is constantly challenged in the script, crafted carefully by Victor Levin who does double duty as Director. As a New Yorker, this film is also a love story with the City itself. Peering into locations like The Guggenheim, Central Park, The St. Regis, and neighborhoods all over Manhattan is a love affair no city dweller can overlook. We are also treated to diverse cultural experiences between young downtown and sophisticated wealthy uptown. “Beer Vs. Wine”, if you will, but all New York City at heart.Yelchin, who is in quite a few feature this year alone, is wonderful, charming and insightful as ever. Marlohe is enchanting and effortless. Rounding out the amazing cast is Glenn Close and Frank Langella as Brian’s parents, Arlene and Sam Bloom. These two pros come into their scenes as if they were married for 30 years. Funny and honest and keeping us on our toes, they are a delight as a foil to Brian and Arielle. 5 to 7 has a built in audience. This film is for anyone who has ever had stars in their eyes and hope in their hearts. It’s a story of choices and finding out how far you’ll go for your happy ending.
In speaking to Victor Levin this week, I got a whole new insight on his first feature. He was simply a gentleman and a scholar and I thank him for every minute of his time. Take a listen to our chat below.
5 to 7 opens in theaters today in NY and LA, with a nationwide release next Friday, April 10th. It is also available now on VOD.