Kate Lyn Sheil and Eugene Kotlyarenko in A Wonderful Cloud
Lena Dunham has inspired approximately 10 million articles about her public persona and her work as the creator and star of “Girls,” but the pop-culture lightning rod has yet to inspire any imitators of her work. This finally changes with A Wonderful Cloud, directed by and starring Eugene Kotlyarenko. Much like Dunham does on her HBO comedy series, Kotlyarenko strips himself bare, both literally and figuratively, in a probing work about modern romance.
Those who enjoy watching “Girls,” rather than that massive part of the audience who views it merely for outrage purposes, will enjoy what Kotlyarenko does with his film. This student has learned from his teacher.
A Wonderful Cloud follows what seems like a loosely autobiographical story about Eugene (Kotlyarenko), who reunites with his girlfriend Katelyn (Kate Lyn Sheil) when she visits Los Angeles on business. Despite the fact that Eugene has found a new love and Katelyn has a life back in New York, the pair realize that the chemistry that once brought them together has not dissipated. Both Eugene and Katelyn have to choose whether they resume what they once had or part ways once more.
As a comedy, A Wonderful Cloud relies deeply on a sense of embarrassment. Even more than most independent films, there is little about this one that is airbrushed or softened. Kotlyarenko, like Dunham, has an exhibitionist streak despite a balding head and a soft body that has spent little time at the gym. If an actress gave a similar performance, she would be lauded for her bravery. He shows off his prematurely-balding hair, his paunch and other parts of his anatomy with nary a bit of shame.
A Wonderful Cloud is a perfect film for those who like comedies that make audiences uncomfortable. Its various vignettes center around hipster parties, mistaken social cues and revelations of dark secrets. Even Louis CK and Larry David might watch the film and cringe at some of the various sequences. It is the type of film made for those who find “Girls” to be too sanitized by Hollywood and wish for an even purer look at just how ugly romance can be.
A Wonderful Cloud
Now in theaters
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