Mostly shot in long, unmoving, medium takes that further blur the already indefinite line between documentary and not-documentary, Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ Dina follows the wedding preparations of two Philadelphians at various places on the autism spectrum. Forty-eight-year-old widow Dina is very tactile and a big fan of physical affection, while her fiancé Scott — a self-described “Aspie” who’s never moved out of his family’s house — loves her but has big issues with touching and being touched. They face the issues all couples face whether they’re on any spectrum or not, particularly regarding their differing pasts — and the gnarly scars on Dina’s back — but they’re able to talk about them with an openness that “normal” couples often lack.
Oddly, the fact that most scenes are staged doesn’t make them feel any less authentic; rather, it feels like these are exactly the conversations Dina and Scott would be having even if they didn’t have to occasionally wait for Santini and Sickles to set up a new camera angle. In the end, the off-center romance of Dina is enough to make you think that maybe there really is someone for everyone. There isn’t, of course — it’s among the biggest of the Big Lies — but it’s reassuring to see that these nice folks are among the exceptions.
Opens Friday at the Opera Plaza Cinema.