The essence of a film like “The Romantics” which premiered at Sundance in 2010 revolves around the essence that everyone has experienced a love that should have been but ultimately wasn’t. The initial conception of the film revolved around a stage play which inevitably gives the film its pace. What buoys it is the relatability of the stars in the form of Josh Duhamel and Katie Holmes. While the former does little but try to appear sorry in relation to the narrative, Holmes seems well perceoved with a kind of world weariness that suits the part. In this outing, she is the one who lost out to her more conventional, balance-minded best friend played with distinct aplomb and guile by Anna Paquin who directs the wounded bird functionality with considerable dexterity. While most of the action happens inside rooms doing make-up or under trees, there is an undeniable fragility to the proceedings that serves it well. The direction is not too sure-handed but evenly tones itself nonetheless because as a writer/director piece, the word becomes non-changeable which both restricts and structures the outcome. In one way the film becomes monochromatic cinematically because of its play-like structure but within another essence it survives succinctly because its characters are that inter-relatable. Ultimately the relationships plays a little bit too close to change but the ending effect is resoundedly vague in a good way. The extras (as in the effort of acquisition titles) fosters to its independent roots with a quick but effective behind-the-scenes progression that tends to require itself more in praising the director than the psychological tomes the film discusses. Out of 5, I give “The Romantics” DVD a 2.