Can an emotion as powerful and complex as love be biologically tested?


This is the central question of “Fingernails,” a story centered on the blooming passion of Anna and Amir. The star-crossed lovers work at an institute that examines the romantic compatibility between couples by stripping off one of each of their fingernails and placing them inside a microwave device.


A couple tests positive when they have scored one hundred percent: it indicates that both of them are equally in love with each other. 


Both Anna and Amir are in relationships whose foundations have grown shaky. Although Anna and her partner Ryan tested positive, she feels they have fallen into routine and the spark has diminished. Amir is dating Natasha, a woman who doesn’t know anything about him.


“Fingernails” is a very quiet film. All of the characters are meek and soft-spoken, and the mood is very intimate: an appropriate setting for budding love. 


I would give “Fingernails” a rating of 5.6. The film falls short due to its ambiguous ending. It failed to give closure to Anna’s and Ryan’s or Amir’s and Natasha’s relationship. Is the Love Test an adequate measure of compatibility? The audience does not receive a concrete answer to this fundamental question.


On one end, Sally and Rob tested positive and were very clearly in love. On the other end, Anna and Amir, despite only scoring 50%, were also implied to be in love. But instead of visiting Ryan or Natasha again for the film’s final stance on Love, we are left with Anna and Amir in his bedroom at sunrise after they have plucked their fingernails once more.


Tagline: “Cinephile Diaries,” written by Judah Farrell, includes reviews and retrospectives that dissect the various themes within film.