Movie: ‘The Seasons – Four Love Stories’

To everything there is a season. So say Ecclesiastes, Pete Seeger and the Byrds. 

And so there is for love, as Paul Schwartz depicts in his modest little film “The Seasons — Four Love Stories.” As its title make clear, the film presents four slightly interlocked stories of love involving very different stages of life. 

Each also reflect American life during and after the pandemic — with the surreally empty streets of the city and the urge to relocate to safer climes upstate. Hence the stories unfold in the Hudson Valley that, by the end is pinpointed to Nyack, just across the bridge from Manhattan.

In the first scene, set in the summer, Nick and Sasha (Mike Keller and Katya Preiser) play a New York couple on the rocks, since they were forced to cohabitate because of the pandemic only after a few dates. He’s trying to apply for jobs via Zoom; she’s getting ready for Broadway dance rehearsals in the same cramped space. Going upstate for an aunt’s birthday amid nature gives them more perspective on their relationship. 

That wise aunt (the choreographer Margo Sappington) turns up in the next story as well, set in the fall, as a middle-aged couple who also seem at odds, a romance novelist (Anna Holbrook) lets her imagination goes wild when she suspects her unemployed husband (Brian Hotaling) might be having an affair with a comely new Hudson Valley restauranteur (Kathleen Simmonds). 

Then the restaurant is the site of the winter story: a meeting between the novelist’s elderly father, a retired professor (Ed Setrakian) who decides to look up a flame from long ago (Joan Porter). Things get a little static here, as the action is basically a discussion at a table. But intercutting it with a 50s pantomime between their younger selves (Amelia Rose Allen and Bryce Edwards) seems pretty unnecessary.

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