True Romantic Obsession
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because it’s romantic as all get out.
By Jonathan Kiefer
Taken at face value, the self-analyzing and slightly unwieldy title might suggest something entirely too reductive. But the glorious surprise of An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2013) is its unabashed expansiveness. Face value is just one of many values, as the neurotic, romantic and visionary feature debut from writer-director-editor-star Terence Nance so rhapsodically reveals. As an NYU student, Nance had the universal experience of falling hard for a woman and wondering what was going on in her head. He channeled that into a “one-sided nonfiction,” as he called his autobiographical short film How Would You Feel? Then, with help from Kickstarter and eventual executive producers Dream Hampton, Jay-Z, Wyatt Cenac and Joy Bryant, Nance expanded his sublimely messy, multilayered valentine to feature length — and to much acclaim at Sundance. Mixing narrated live action with a variety of animation styles, the result is a heady and hearty medley of adoration, obsession, disappointment and hope. Romance doesn’t get any truer — or finer.