Peter and Vandy

Director: Jay DiPietro
Screenwriters: Jay DiPietro

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


All couples are defined by their collective experiences together. But if they could go back in time and look at those experiences again, would they be the same as they remember? Would those moments have the same meaning? Writer/director Jay DiPietro explores these questions in Peter and Vandy, a story about love with no beginning and no end.

Set in Manhattan, the story shifts back and forth in time, juxtaposing Peter and Vandy's romantic beginnings with the slow deterioration that follows. The way they bicker while trying to order takeout, or laugh too hard at a bad joke, reveals more about them than they can ever know in the moment. As the film jumps around, the contrast is jarring at times, enlightening at others, but it always enhances the viewing experience. By rearranging the pieces of the puzzle, the film gives each piece a different meaning and offers the viewer a new experience in reflecting on what it means to fall in—and out of—love.

Adapted from DiPietro's own acclaimed play, Peter and Vandy’s successful transition to film is aided by masterful performances from the two lead actors. Jess Weixler and Jason Ritter sparkle and wither at just the right pitch, filling the screen with grace notes of subtlety and complexity. Playing with memory versus reality, as well as subtext versus surface meaning, DiPietro fashions a spellbinding story about love . . . that is not a love story.

(Archives note: see also Jay DiPietro: Peter and Vandy on our YouTube Channel.)

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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