Filmmaker Sheldon Candis’ LUV is a coming of age movie that proves Common can leave behind his music career and concentrate on acting. It introduces Michael Rainey Jr., who plays his nephew. This can also start a new career for the young man.
LUV is played at Sundance 2012. It features gritty inspiration and naked emotion that keeps the viewers involved even if it takes some wrong turns. Common plays Vincent, a guy who is just out of prison and living with his mother in Baltimore. She is talking care of his nephew Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.), who is seen going to school as the movie opens.
Vincent gives him a ride but instead of going to school, Woody joins Vincent to see how he does his business. But things don’t turn out as they planned it. Vincent has big plans for a crab shack he wants to rehabilitate. He needs a small business loan from a bank in order to start his plan.
But the banker points out some flaws in his plan. He notes that Vincent’s house, which he plans to use as collateral, already has a second mortgage with big payment due in a couple of days. Vincent has to come up with the money to pay the mortgage to continue with his plans.
This is when Vincent search for old acquaintances across Baltimore. Some are not pleased to see him, including Cofield (Charles S. Dutton) and Arthur (Danny Glover). It turns out that Vincent was once part of Fish’s (Dennis Haysbert) drug-dealing operation but he bucked his boss and wound up in prison. Everyone is suspicious about his early release and suspects him to be a snitch.
It seems like Candis doesn’t know where to take the story. Some scenes are too contrived and far-fetched. LUV burns and sputters before it fizzles out in the end.