Nina Forever (R)

Comedy 98 min. February 12, 2016
By Nick Schager
It's difficult to get over your dead girlfriend when she keeps reanimating in your bloody bed every time you have sex with your new lady -- that's the scenario that Nina Forever mines for a lifeless mix of black humor and tender pathos. Writing/directing siblings Ben and Chris Blaine exhibit an assured directorial hand in their feature debut, employing clever visual compositions and cross-cutting to enliven a slight story that barely could have sustained itself as a short. Mourning Nina's (Fiona O'Shaughnessy) demise, Rob (Cian Barry) fails to commit suicide, then falls for morbid 19-year-old EMT-in-training Holly (Abigail Hardingham), who decides to stick it out with Rob even after Nina begins materializing, mid-coitous, to offer sarcastic comments about Rob's inability to forget her.

It's a cute revenant-as-closure metaphor that has nowhere interesting to go, so the film quickly becomes a meandering, repetitive saga about how the specter of past loves often haunts new relationships. Subplots involving tattoos and Rob's continuing relationship with Nina's parents are further symbolic diversions that speak to the same old point about grief, loss and healing. Though the sight of Nina functioning as the literal/figurative third partner in an unhealthy ménage à trois is mildly amusing, it's not enough to sustain this self-serious one-note joke.
Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Abigail Hardingham, Cian Barry, David Troughton, Elizabeth Elvin, Bill Holland, Lee Nicholas Harris Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine Epic Pictures Releasing

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