Spring Like a Lover is a Japanese movie about three gay men and their intertwining love lives. The main characters are going through a rough patch in their relationship. After an argument, one of the leads revisits his ex-boyfriend, who is now married to a woman. When old feelings rekindle between the pair, this complicated love triangle leads to tears, confrontations, and violence.
Enjoyable for the wrong reasons, Spring Like a Lover will appeal to those who secretly appreciate messy BL movies. This short 18+ film features flawed, miserable characters who make many mistakes in their explosive relationship drama. Although the story is a total disaster, I can't look away from the chaotic trainwreck.
Spring Like a Lover Summary
Around 33 minutes
Sad and emotional
Yes, there is an 18+ gay romance.
Kazu and Shin are boyfriends who live together. They are currently going through a rough patch in their relationship. Kazu has sneaked around and cheated with another man. He lies and makes excuses about coming home late at night. Shin is suspicious, sensing they have drifted apart as a couple. Following a late-night argument, Shin decides to leave Kazu.
Shin crashes at his ex-boyfriend's place for a week. Takashi is now married to a woman, but he still harbours lingering feelings. One night, Takashi tries to make a pass at Shin when they are alone together. However, he is immediately rejected.
Shin does not want to get involved with a married man. Instead, he decides to reconcile with Kazu. Upon reuniting, the two boyfriends have passionate make-up sex. They come out of their temporary separation with a closer relationship than previously. However, Takashi is still hung up on his ex. He wants to get back together with Shin as well.
Spring Like a Lover Trailer
Spring Like a Lover Cast
Kazu Tact Igarashi (五十嵐拓人) Tact Igarashi Instagram
Kazu is a photographer. He lives with his boyfriend Shin, but their relationship is going through a low point. Kazu has cheated on his partner with another man. He is devastated when Shin decides to leave him.
Shin Konosuke Furuya (古矢航之介) Konosuke Furuya Twitter
Shin is Kazu's boyfriend. They used to live together, but Shin moves out after a disagreement. He stays with his ex-boyfriend Takashi, who is now married with a wife. Shin wants to reconcile with Kazu and feels no attraction to Takashi.
Takashi Kazuki Kawakami (川上 一輝) Kazuki Kawakami Instagram
Takashi is Shin's ex-boyfriend, who is now married to a wife. He allows his ex to stay at his home after a week, much to his wife's discontent. She is not aware of their romantic past. Takashi still has lingering feelings for his past boyfriend. He tries to make a pass at Shin when they're alone together.
Spring Like a Lover Review
Movie Review Score: 5.8
Spring Like a Lover is a disastrous short film by conventional BL standards. Instead of celebrating love, it highlights adultery, deceit, and dysfunctional relationships. All three gay leads are portrayed unflatteringly, perceived as cheaters, liars, or miserable wrecks. Their romantic lives are in absolute shambles. Plus, Spring Like a Lover suffers from laughably contrived writing and weak characterizations. Most viewers will find it tough to appreciate this movie, even from an artistic standpoint.
Despite its many faults, I secretly enjoyed Spring Like a Lover. This short 30-minute movie epitomizes the concept of so bad, it's good. Like a glorious trainwreck, I can't look away from the heated arguments, cheating accusations, and explosive relationship drama. Kazu, Shin, and Takashi are flawed protagonists incapable of behaving sensibly in any given situation. It's like the three of them constantly compete to see who can be the messiest gay guy ever. 😂
I wasn't fond of Spring Like a Lover at the start, perhaps because I took it too seriously. This movie began gloomily with grimy storylines, dull dialogue, and negative portrayals of its gay characters. All the red flags were there, indicating this film would suck. However, I shifted my mindset halfway through the story. I stopped viewing Spring Like a Lover critically and started laughing at the dumb antics. The leads are so messy and melodramatic that their actions become unintentionally funny. The more they cry and argue, the louder I gasp and giggle in amusement.
My way of watching BL is unorthodox, one that I don't expect many others to follow. As much as I enjoy snickering at the events, it would be a stretch to call Spring Like a Lover a good movie. The plot is too absurd, the characters are too reckless, and the romance feels too toxic. I can't overlook the silly contrivances and senseless actions to justify an ironically high review score. Plus, the one-dimensional narrative perpetuates unhealthy LGBT messages. The film carries harsh, outdated views, suggesting gay men are self-destructive and can't sustain stable relationships.
Spring Like a Lover is a low-budget student film, evident through some rawness in its technical production. Despite the limitations, there is a noticeable effort in making the cinematography more visually appealing. Likewise, the acting is alright from a relatively unknown cast with little on-screen experience. Takashi's actor (Kazuki Kawakami) does a decent job capturing his character's desperation. Another remarkable quality is the risqué content. Spring Like a Lover features nudity from all three leads, plus a shockingly explicit sexual encounter.
Unsurprisingly, Spring Like a Lover is angsty from start to finish. It has a sad, bleak ending that leaves all the characters suffering. I don't like the over-the-top conclusion, which exposes Kazu's hypocrisy, Shin's stupidity, and Takashi's cruelty. This crappy closure tips the scale, pushing the movie out of the guilty pleasure zone and into annoying unpleasantness. Overall, I have a tricky love-hate relationship with Spring Like a Lover. I can't recommend this film unless you appreciate messy and chaotic BL drama.
Spring Like a Lover has a ridiculous plot with a bleak and grimy undertone. The writing is contrived and the characterizations are weak.
The movie portrays all three gay lead characters unflatteringly. They are self-destructive and incapable of stable relationships.
The acting is decent for a relatively unknown cast without screen experience. I like Takashi's actor the most. He captures the desperation of his character well.
Spring Like a Lover has a bleak and depressing ending. All the characters continue to be trainwrecks, as expected.
Despite the small budget and technical limitations, this movie tries to be visually attractive. A few scenes look inspired, such as when Takashi emerges from the bathtub.
Spring Like a Lover is a flawed movie with one-dimensional portrayals of gay men. However, it might appeal to those who love messy characters and dysfunctional relationship drama.