With Love and a Major Organ Highlights the Things That Make Life Worth Living

Image courtesy of Circle Collective

I’m not going to lie, when I first heard about With Love and a Major Organ, I wasn’t sure if the film would be for me. My tastes tend to lead towards the horrific and the fantastical, but other than a tiny smidge of oddball fantasy, this movie didn’t seem to have much of either. I thought it might be a bit outside my wheelhouse, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I figured it was a good opportunity to broaden my cinematic horizons. Nevertheless, I requested a screener right away and hoped for the best.

With Love and a Major Organ was directed by Kim Albright, and it stars Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood, Donna Benedicto, and Arghavan Jenati. The film is a comedy set in a world where society pressures people to dampen their emotions and human hearts are made of normal, everyday objects that people can remove from their chests. For example, our main character, a woman named Anabel, has a small lamp for a heart, and she says her mother’s was made of string.

One day, Anabel meets a man named George and falls in love with him pretty quickly, but since George is strangely unemotional, he doesn’t reciprocate those feelings. That rejection bums Anabel out quite a bit, and after a series of similarly painful experiences, she decides to rip her heart out and give it to George. That drastic measure strips her of every last ounce of emotion she has, and it makes her life a lot easier. In contrast, when George replaces his heart with Anabel’s, he starts to feel things like never before. It gives him a whole new perspective on life, and that swap leads them both to understand that there’s more to life than unfeeling, pragmatic rationality.

With Love and a Major Organ had me hooked pretty much right from the get-go, and four things about it really stood out to me. For starters, we have the humor. Comedy is always tough to talk about objectively, but in my opinion, this film is pretty hilarious. It has a lot of quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it jokes that the characters spout as if they’re no big deal, so make sure you pay close attention to the dialogue. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on some truly terrific humor.

A man in a city
Image courtesy of Circle Collective

Next, let’s talk a bit about the acting. This entire cast is fantastic. I had no trouble believing their performances and that these were real people going through real experiences. In particular, I have to give special mention to Anna Maguire, the actress who plays Anabel. She’s essentially tasked with giving two diametrically opposed performances, and she completely nails both of them.

For the first half of With Love and a Major Organ, Anabel is full of life, love, and vibrant feelings, and Maguire brings the character to life beautifully. Then, when Anabel tears her heart out, Maguire does a complete 180. She’s completely unfeeling, and even when she does things that normally convey emotion, like smiling, she does them with a harsh coldness that lets you know there’s no real substance behind them. It’s a bit creepy, and it reminded me a lot of the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On top of those great performances, With Love and a Major Organ also does a great job of creating a world devoid of genuine humanity. Most of the characters in this movie are so focused on pragmatic efficiency that they forget how to enjoy things like art and real human relationships, and there’s one scene in particular that really hammers this home.

Early on in the film, Anabel goes to an art gallery with her friend Casey, but it doesn’t look like any art gallery I’ve ever seen. All of the paintings there are just a few black lines or dots on big white canvases, and Casey’s favorite piece isn’t even part of the exhibit at all. It’s just a plain white post, and she says she likes it because it’s functional.

And in my opinion, that embodies the problem with this society. See, the whole point of art is that it’s not functional. It’s not just a means to some further end. Rather, it’s an end in itself. We enjoy art for its own sake, so to say that you like a piece of art, because it’s functional, is to miss the purpose of art altogether.

A woman speaking
Image courtesy of Circle Collective

Now, that’s just one example, but the entire world in With Love and a Major Organ is like that. Sure, there are some exceptions, like Anabel, but by and large, everybody in this culture is so focused on pragmatic efficiency that they forget to stop and enjoy the things that make life truly worth living.

Once you understand that world, it’s also easy to grasp the message of With Love and a Major Organ. At its core, this film is a parable about what it means to be human, and it lets us know in no uncertain terms that there’s more to a genuinely human life than just facts, figures, and getting the job done. Life is primarily about love, emotions (even unpleasant ones, like sadness), beauty, and genuine human connection. Without those things, we’re not living. We’re just surviving.

In other words, this is basically a more light-hearted riff on classics like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Dead Poets Society, and if you’re a movie fan, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy it. Movies are a form of art, so it’s hard to imagine a film aficionado not appreciating this story. It’s a celebration of the things we love, and it’s brought to life with amazing acting and some hilarious comedy.

With Love and a Major Organ is set to hit New York theaters on March 29 and Los Angeles theaters on April 5, and then it’s going to start its nationwide expansion on April 12.


You Might Also Enjoy:

The Devil’s Rejects: My Most Watched Film

Immaculate Hides a Sinister Secret Behind Sacred Walls

Asking the Right Question in True Detective: Night Country

Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong movie fan, and his favorite genres are horror, superheroes, and giant monsters. You can find him on Twitter @jpnunezhorror.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A woman with blood on her face

Immaculate Hides a Sinister Secret Behind Sacred Walls

Trey looks at his black and white painted face in the mirror

BUFF24: No Clownin, Off Ramp is Juggalo Juice for the Soul