Three longtime friends: Sam (Nathan Phillips), Blake (Zachary Knighton; ABC’s Happy Endings), and Katherine (Shannon Lucio) all seem inseparable. Sam and Katherine are in a relationship, but there’s an intimacy they share with Blake that makes him never seem like a third wheel. All is well. Fast forward 3 years and now Blake and Katherine are married, struggling to keep the restaurant they own afloat while Sam travels the world with his new girlfriend Michelle (Janina Gavankar; HBO’s True Blood). So, when Blake and Katherine decide to take a vacation and give themselves a proper honeymoon in wine country with Sam and Michelle, things can get understandably tense, but the real charm of Satellite of Love is that the bond these people share proves stronger than the decisions they’ve made as individuals.
It’s been a lackluster year for film for me so far, seeing several things that were fine, but definitely not special. I’m happy that Satellite of Love was able to come along and give me something I can legitimately enjoy. The script is smooth and funny, with each character having their own unique voice and contributions to the overall film. Everyone’s on-screen chemistry feels legitimate and sincere, and there’s a nice sense of inevitability hanging over the light hearted film that reminds us that the stakes are higher than they may appear.
I have to say that my favorite aspect of the film requires getting into a couple of spoilers, so if you’d like to avoid that, don’t read this paragraph. Films about infidelity tend to make me very uncomfortable. This is generally because it never feels properly earned. Here, when Katherine and Sam hook up, it’s still abrupt, but it feels like something that could believably happen between the characters. Katherine is having problems with being bored in her everyday life, Sam never stopped having feelings for Katherine, and it’s understandable that Katherine would be jealous of Sam’s new, outgoing, extremely sexy girlfriend, who viewers might recognize as the Goddess incarnate Shiva from F/X’s comedy The League. All of these things make the encounter feel natural, but like I said, when it does happen, it escalates quickly.
The cast is amazing. In addition to Gavankar’s other work I’ve also enjoyed watching Zachary Knighton’s sitcom Happy Endings. It’s contributes nothing amazing to the realm of sitcoms and will definitely not be remembered long after it leaves our airways, but it is a lot of fun, and featuring some familiar faces that are likely to keep you interested. Here, Knighton’s character is much more reserved while finding a good balance between insecure and arrogant; as if he knows that Katherine is out of his league, but is okay with that because she’s also out of Sam’s league.
Special Features include a short slideshow set to music offering some background information on each of the principal cast members, and a feature that plays the entire soundtrack of the film. The soundtrack feature is tricky because you can’t skip ahead to the song you want.
Available now on VOD from Filmbuff.