Gordon’s SLIFF debut


I recently had the pleasure of watching Sasha Gordon’s directorial debut, “It Had to Be You,” which was featured in November at the St. Louis Film Festival. This lighthearted film took us through the life of Sonia (played by Cristin Milioti from “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”), after the proposal by her boyfriend Chris (Dan Soder).  Through her adventures and struggles, we see how her perception of life changes, while getting a few laughs along the way. Gordon, an award-winning film score and soundtrack composer, was previously known for her music in “God of Love.”

I really loved this film (and shed a few happy tears as well) because it was refreshing. As a female, it was really nice to see the entire story told through a feminine perspective—similar to films such as “Never Been Kissed” and “13 Going on 30.”

When I talked to Sasha Gordon, she told me that she liked the romantic comedy, but she really missed the fact that the films were not shown in a female perspective. Because of this, she tried to incorporate that into her directorial debut and accomplished it flawlessly.

What stood out to me was the strength of the slightly overdramatic female character, Sonia—a jingle writer who began as a hesitant girl with the belief that she was not ready to get married and still had to “evolve” into someone who had matured after several whimsical adventures. Thus leading to her spontaneous trip to Europe, as she meets Fabrizzio, her colleague, played by Danny Defarrari.

I really enjoyed the scenes where Sonia thought on her “stereotypical independent female” role model, who she initially thought was a doctor who traveled around the world. However, she soon learned that the lady was not who she appeared to be, and instead was a saleswoman who sold medical instruments to various hospitals and, as a result, simply used public transportation.

My favorite part was that the casual clothes and optimistic mindset kept Sonia relatable throughout the film. Not everyone becomes a “perfect,” independent adult as they grow older, and  the film remined those in attendance that it is okay to take your own time and make mistakes.

Additionally, another great facet of “It Had to Be You” was the chemistry between both leads and the moments they shared with each other, as they both compromised and found a way to make their relationship work.

I really loved the beginning of the story where each lead was at an opposite extreme, with Chris wanting to settle for whatever he had as long as he was happy, and Sonia continuously denying that she is perfect, wanting more.

By the end, both reach a beautiful middle-ground that occurs after the couple goes through the wedding  of their friends – Mark, played by Mark Gessner, and his unnamed wife, played by Halley Feiffer – and birth of their baby.

“It Had to Be You” is a must watch, due to the lighthearted but strong tone, set by both the director and the characters of the film. It has all the elements of a classic chick-flick and is easily relatable as well.

This kind of film is something that I haven’t seen in a really long time and is refreshing and new. This story, Sasha Gordon believes, as I do as well, is a delight for both couples and females to watch on-screen. Try to grab it once it comes out on DVD, you won’t regret it!

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