Last month, in advance of its December release on DVD and VOD, I screened a little indie flick from 2011 starring Nicole Beharie of Sleepy Hollow fame. Beharie’s smiles are magical on Sleepy Hollow, so I welcomed the opportunity to see more of them in this Brooklyn tale of musician Leticia (Beharie) striking out on her own and German businessman Niklas Hank (Ken Duken) vowing to seduce her on his one day in town.
That sounds like the set-up for a bigscreen whirlwind romance that I rarely buy into, but My Last Day Without You resists taking the predictable paths toward superficial love connections. Leticia is no manic pixie girl, and Niklas is not a floundering manchild. Rather, he’s a corporate hatchet man in the vein of George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, and he shows little compunction when confronted by the people whose jobs he’s just ended.
During one of many shots beautifully framed through windows, Niklas meets Leticia, who offers him one of those smiles and a sample of her CD.
Niklas is entranced by this charismatic woman. With the encouragement of his chauffer, an avowed romantic played with relish by Robert Clohessy, Nik vows to seek Leticia out as a distraction until his flight back home that evening.