If you’re in the mood for something different, other than the usual Hollywood blockbuster, then I highly recommend Echo Park, a marvelously beautiful movie set in the enchanting Echo Park neighborhood, a fun, hip neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Directed by Amanda Marsalis and written by Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, the film stars Sophie( Mammie Gummer), a Beverly Hills resident just getting out of a long-term relationship and London-born Alex ( Anthony Okungbowa) who already resides in Echo Park but is is looking to move back to his home country, although that is halted when the two cross paths.
A sparkling romance soon blooms amid the beautiful backdrop of Echo Park, a key player in the movie, with its charming neighborhoods and urban cafe’s, highlighting that idea that economic and ethnic backgrounds do not matter when love is involved, which has a similar feeling to 500 Days of Summer and Celeste and Jesse Forever, both of which are also filmed in Los Angeles.
Other than the romance involved between the two, I love the idea that Los Angeles is depicted in a different light than it usually, with all the glitz and glamour that we are bombarded by in Hollywood. The characters are real, naturally beautiful, revealing a fresh look at how love can suddenly change.
Echo Park is an independent film with a gritty, cozy atmosphere that isn’t so shiny and new looking that we see in many traditional romantic comedies. As someone who has lived in Los Angeles and has been to Echo Park countless times, it’s nice to see the real L.A., not the fake one that we usually see on television, though that exists also, but it isn’t the norm. Most importantly, I love that the movie reflects various characters from different cultural backgrounds, which is also realistic to the vibrant city.
The soundtrack ain’t bad either.