Despite its epic title, writer-director-actor Mark Webber's sophomore filmmaking effort "The End of Love" (his first was 2008's "Explicit Ills") is an exceptionally intimate, human-scaled picture. It's also quite a special piece of work.
Webber, known largely for his many indie film appearances ("For a Good Time, Call…," "The Hottest State"), stars in this poignant, semi-autobiographical tale of a recently widowed, underemployed actor, also named Mark, devoted to raising his energetic 2-year-old, Isaac (Webber's real-life son, Isaac Love), while battling money troubles, profound exhaustion and deep sadness.
Told in a loose, surprisingly involving cinema verite style, the film is as successful depicting the smallest daily routines between parent and child (meals, playground, bedtime) as it is at portraying life's more overwhelming moments (a desperate audition, a towed car, home eviction).
But it's a late-breaking nail-biter regarding the fate of Isaac's innocent goldfish (not for nothing named Daddy) that proves the film's most skillful — and significant — scene as it heartbreakingly sums up Mark's entire emotional journey.