If you see one movie that consists completely of people talking to the camera this Summer, see "10 Tiny Love Stories". Well, in actuality, "10" only has one similar film in competition, Bruce Wagner's "Women in Film". But, "10" is everything that "Women" is not. While "Women" focused on 3 emotionally distant, cold Hollywood hangers-on, "10" is simply about 10 women remembering their past loves. "Women" is a harsh, unpleasant experience. "10" is warm, inviting and beautifully filmed.
Moving past the comparisons, "10 Tiny Love Stories" is the follow-up for writer/director (and former cinematographer) Rodrigo Garcia to his "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her", a film that reached a wider audience once it reached video. Once again, there really isn't much of a plot to the picture: 10 women (played by Kathy Baker, Alicia Witt, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Rebecca Tilney, Debi Mazar, Radha Mitchell, Elizabeth Peņa, Susan Traylor, Deborah Unger and Kimberly Williams) each deliver their own monologue about an experience with a man that they still find memorable for reasons that range from love to their first time to wanting to find the kind of love they see in other people.
Some of the stories aren't quite as interesting as others, but all of the women at least present their tales in a way that's emotional, funny and occasionally dramatic. They convincingly present themselves as real people with real stories to share and are all the more involving, as a result. Also, "10" actually looks quite attractive visually for a film that's essentially people speaking to a camera. Director Garcia has made an interesting choice - all of the conversations are shot in 2.35:1 widescreen. The backgrounds, shot at various homes, are attractive without being distracting and the wide frame gives some of the performers a chance to use their hands nicely, as well. Overall, while not a highly memorable picture, "10 Tiny Love Stories" is a very enjoyable effort that makes "people talking to the camera" work well. "10 Tiny Love Stories" and "Women In Film" both are being released on DVD this Summer by Lion's Gate Home Video. "10 Tiny" is first on 7/16, while "Women in Film" comes out 8/6.
VIDEO: "10 Tiny Love Stories" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is actually quite good, aside from a few...well, tiny concerns. Sharpness and detail remained consistently solid throughout the picture, as the image remained well-defined, with no hints of softness.
Only a few little faults were spotted - a couple of slight hints of pixelation and a few small bits of grain were seen, but didn't cause much distraction. No edge enhancement was seen nor were any marks, specks or other print flaws. The film's warm color palette remained well-presented throughout, appearing nicely saturated and crisp. A very nice transfer.
SOUND: "10 Tiny Love Stories" is presented in Stereo. Simply, this is all about the dialogue, which remains crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: A commentary from director/writer Garcia and the film's producer is quite enjoyable, as the two discuss what it was like working with the actresses and how each one became involved with a particular one of the 10 stories. It's also pretty interesting to hear the process that the actresses went through - no rehearsal - they were given the story and had to prepare on their own and make many of their own choices on how to share their tale. The only other supplements are a group of trailers ("10 Tiny", "Lovely & Amazing" and "Cat's Meow") hidden in the main menu.
Final Thoughts: Although it did start to get a little long (around 7 Tiny Love Stories would have been better), "10 Tiny Love Stories" offered good performances and interesting tales. Lion's Gate has also produced a nice DVD for the picture. Those interested should seek it out as a rental.