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Film / Spring

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Spring is a 2014 romantic mystery drama directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and written by Justin Benson.

Following the death of his mother and the loss of his job, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) travels to Italy to get away from it all for a while. In a small coastal town, he meets Louise (Nadia Hilker), an attractive woman who is more than she seems...

This film provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Louise has engineered a serum that temporarily stops her transformations. Its only label is a frowny face.
  • Asshole Victim: The obnoxious American tourist seen a few scenes earlier happens across Louise as she's suffering from one of her transformations. After she doesn't respond to his highly inappropriate propositions, he prepares to rape her. She turns suddenly, and cue the Gory Discretion Shot as all we hear are his screams and loud biting noises.
  • Attempted Rape: The American tourist tries to take advantage of Louise when she is helpless in an alley, but it doesn't go well for him.
  • Auto Erotica: At one point, Louise and Evan try to have sex in the car but get interrupted by the police.
  • Babies Ever After: Implied, as Louise theorizes that if she loves someone she'll stay pregnant and not change. The ending indicates that she loves Evan, will keep her form and give birth to their child as they remain happily together while Louis now becomes mortal. How happy this is though isn't clear as Vesuvius erupts again at the end in the background.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The film teases that Louise is one of several types of established monsters. In one scene, her skin burns on direct contact with the sun, and in another, her face doesn't show up in a photograph, implying that she's a vampire. In another, we see her transform in a hairy dog-like creature, implying that she's a werewolf. In a third scene, we see her performing what appears to be a magical ritual, implying she's a witch. Evan eventually straight-up asks if she's any of these things, but she's not.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Louise has been around for 2,000 years and apparently ended up on multiple famous paintings which she and Evan visit in a museum.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Not a Celebrity Paradox at the time of this film's release, but early on, a character mentions 8 Mile, in which Anthony Mackie had a role. Spring is in the same universe (via connections with Resolution and The Endless) as Synchronic, which stars Mackie.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Early on at the farm, Evan notices a volcano in the distance. Naturally it would erupt later.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Mike references "Shitty Carl," who is referenced in Resolution and appears in The Endless.
    • When Louise flips through channels on the TV, she passes by a scene from Resolution.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Both Evan and Louise have lost their parents. When she learns this about Evan, Louise jokingly compares him to Batman.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Upon discovering Louise's true nature, Evan asks if she's one of a variety of supernatural beings. She asserts that she is human, although with a mutation that allows her to live forever. She's studying genetics to learn more about her condition, and has well-developed theories and explanations for it.
  • Dramatic Irony: When Louise dawdles using her injection to stop her latest transformation, we see a tentacle of hers looming over Evan's shoulder, preparing to strike of its own accord. She takes the injection just in time, and the tentacle drops away mid-swipe.
  • The Fog of Ages: Louise is about 2,000 years old. By now she can't remember her original name.
  • Foreshadowing: Louise points to a woman in a piece of ancient artwork and asks Evan's opinion of her. He says she's hot. Later, it's revealed that Louise, the woman Evan is falling in love with, is that woman.
  • The Ghost: "Shitty Carl" is mentioned but does not make an appearance.
  • Genre Mashup: The movie is basically a dialogue-heavy romantic dramedy (think of Before Sunrise) mixed with doses of body horror and science fiction.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Evan punches a guy out after he sees that the man is about to hit Tommy with an empty beer bottle.
  • Hand Wave: After Louise insists that there's nothing supernatural about her, Evan eventually recalls how her face doesn't appear in photographs. Louise doesn't explain why but instead just states that supernatural legends (like vampires) are based on an imperfect understanding of scientific facts.
  • Healing Factor: Louise claims to have one, but it's never shown.
  • Horror Hunger: Louise tells Evan she tries to be vegetarian but sometimes craves meat. Later on she’s shown killing and eating various small animals raw (and at least one human).
  • Humanoid Abomination: Louise’s unpredictable mutations certainly qualify her for this trope, even if she is technically human.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After seeing Evan silently crying over his late mother, the horny and obnoxious British tourist assumes he's pining over a girlfriend and relates a story about his own love life, then states smugly that Evan is lucky because the tourist is more open about his emotions than most men.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: As well as looking in her twenties, Louise 'regenerates' approximately every 20 years, in spring.
  • Immortality Promiscuity: Louise has to get pregnant every twenty years to remain immortal and thus has slept with many men across her 2,000 years of life.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Zig-zagged. Louise can get pregnant, but after a week or so her body will assimilate the fetus and use its cells to regenerate. Genetically speaking she's a new person (technically she becomes her own child, mixing her own DNA with the "father's"), but she retains all her current memories and maintains her apparent age. She believes this can be prevented, however, if she is truly in love with someone; a hormone will be produced that prevents her body from assimilating the foetus. She'll lose her immortality but remain pregnant and be able to grow old with the one she loves.
  • Ironic Echo: When Evan admits that his parents have died, Louise tries to cheer him up by saying that he has the same backstory as Batman. At the end of the film, when Louise shows Evan the remains of her parents, Evan lightens the mood by telling her that she has the same backstory as Harry Potter.
  • Lady in Red: Louise is an exotic and dangerous woman who wears bright red in her first appearance.
  • Literal Metaphor: Louise relates how she spent time in Mexico with her boyfriend, who was an asshole and "obsessed with conquering everything." It later becomes clear that her "boyfriend" was literally conquering ancient nations.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Evan is in his twenties, while Louise is over 2,000 years old.
  • Missing Reflection: A less suspicious variation. When the waiter takes a photo of Evan and Louise, her face is blurred out for no apparent reason.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Louise is very beautiful, and she's shown topless having sex with Evan. She's also once seen naked from the back.
  • Mutants: Louise is one whose form changes every twenty years, after she's gotten pregnant as this then lets her regenerate, remaining immortal because of it.
  • Newhart Phonecall: When Evan calls Tommy for advice, we hear only Evan's side of the call.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Evan delivers a thorough beating on a pugnacious lowlife at the bar where he works. Mike is shocked, stating that he had to pick up several teeth off the floor.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Louise snuck out after her first night with Evan for reasons we witness onscreen.
  • Omniglot: Louise can speak many language, probably due to her very long life, including Italian, English, Latin, French, German, Turkish and "several types" of Arabic. Not Aramaic, however.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Louise has traits that are similar to the traditional depiction of vampires but mixed up with those of other monster types like werewolves. She explains that this is because our understanding of vampires is faulty.
  • Pity Sex: Early on, a girl Evan knows agrees to have sex with him because of his mother's death but then changes her mind halfway in.
  • Prison Rape: Discussed. When Louise learns that immigration is looking for Evan, she jokingly tells him that they are gonna fuck him in an Italian prison.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Louise. She's actually approaching 2,000 years old, since, as she reveals near the end of the movie, she was born in Pompeii and survived the famous eruption of Vesuvius.
  • Really Gets Around: Since staying immortal requires Louise to get pregnant every twenty years and she's about 2,000, she's slept with at the very least 1,000 men over the centuries. Louise teases Evan for being jealous about this.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: In Evan's Newhart Phonecall to Tommy, he starts trying to explain what's going on, but then he cuts himself off to listen to what Tommy is saying and repeats, "Smoked a bowl? ... Right before I called?" Realizing that Tommy is too high to provide any advice, he hangs up.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Evan realizes that he has no family and no job, and is wanted by the police, he skips the country and flees to Italy.
  • Shout-Out: Louise has a page of the Codex Seraphinianus framed in her house, more specifically, the one where a human couple having sex on a bed transforms into a single crocodile.
  • Slumming It: Justified. Louise explains to Evan that she is actually rich and owns multiple houses all over the world but because she is constantly on the run, she cannot enjoy that wealth.
  • The Stoner: Evan's friend Tommy is constantly high on some drug.
  • Transformation Horror: Louise's transformations. A side-effect of her regenerative abilities, she uncontrollably turns into creatures from humanity's genetic past. They can be managed with injections, or by eating raw flesh.
  • "Ugly American" Stereotype: Evan is razzed by two British tourists about being American, and Evan admits that everyone hates Americans. Later, he watches an obnoxious American tourist bedecked in star-spangled shorts and bandanna cause a scene and screams the national anthem. That same tourist eventually becomes an Asshole Victim.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Discussed as Louise says she has to change her ID frequently and will herself things, which is a logistical nightmare, so no one knows she's an immortal mutant.
  • Unreveal Angle: Evan writes two notes to Louise, both of which make her smile, but the camera never reveals what they say.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Louise starts transforming in church, Evan worries that the worshippers will notice, but no one reacts before she takes her injection. After they leave, however, a woman calmly tells her husband that she just saw "a zombie doing heroin."
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Louise admits that her accent in English doesn't sound completely Italian, claiming that it's because she learned English in Britain and spent time in America. The actress is German.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Louise at first claims she loves her immortality, and nothing is good enough for to give it up. Evan though says being mortal makes life more precious because every moment counts more with them being more limited. Louise appears to agree with him at the end as it's implied that her love for him made her become mortal.