Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday At The Movies #95 - The Beauty Inside

No, you're not seeing things. It may be Monday, but Saturday at the Movies is back. Though I'm excited about the new TV season, today's feature is a Saturday at the Movies first - a web original.

I first stumbled onto The Beauty Inside by accident , when it came up before the video I'd meant to watch. Average guy gets out of the bed where his female companion still slumbers and furtively dresses in clothes that obviously do not fit. In voiceover, he introduces himself as Alex and mentions he has a condition- every time he wakes up, he's a different person. Literally.

They had me right there. Alex, played by, well, many different actors, never knows if the body that gets out of bed the next morning will be male, female, old, young, pretty, ugly, fat, thin, Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, etc, etc, etc. Alex supports himself (voiceover is always male, and Alex seems to identify as such) by restoring antique furniture and doing business online. One gets the impression Alex knows how to handle this, and though it's far from normal, but normal for him. Work, one night stands, and a daily video diary so that he can keep track of who he's been. His bodies never repeat, so each diary entry ends with the same phrase, "that's it for me."

Now that we have the Ordinary World part of the story established, it's time for our protagonist to find his complication, and it comes in episode two, which introduces a love interest, Leah. Alex meets Leah when he ventures into the antique store where she works. He and Leah share the same passion for antiques, Alex is physically attracted to her and the chemistry is palpable...but how can he pursue a relationship when he doesn't know who he'll be tomorrow?

All I'm going to say is that there is a happily ever after. For those who love watching actors do this thing, this is a smorgasboard. While a couple of the Alexes will be familiar to the casual viewer, most will be new, which fits the character and the story. Since this film was cast on the internet, with an open call, there's a huge variety of Alexes, consistent with the single character.

The love story is gorgeous, one perfect night of sneaking into a museum to indulge their mutual love of the past, capped by Alex's bittersweet voiceover that he would see Leah again, but she would never see him. Or is there something he could do about that? Leah's journey to discovery and acceptance of Alex's condition is beautifully acted, and if this were made into a traditional television series, I can only imagine the dazzling array of Alexes we might encounter. There are only six episodes, and Alex and Leah's romance is complete, but I do have to add them to the list of couples I ship. This is one love story romance fans won't want to miss.

First episode here:

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