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Written & Directed by Lisa Datz

love story modern

"The course of true love never did run smooth." - William Shakespeare


LIFE OF RILEY is a modern love story with a twist. Riley, an American woman haunted by her past, falls in love with a successful Dominican architect where a seemingly innocent event threatens to pull apart the very foundation of their lives, in which things are not always as they seem.



With intensity and surprising twists, LIFE OF RILEY is a classic love story seen through the eyes of a modern woman. It tackles such timely themes as unconscious cultural, racial, and gender biases, immigration and the after effects of trauma in the post #metoo era, while still maintaining a sense of hope and humor. 


It combines the realism, cinematic humor-mixed-with-heart storytelling of the BEFORE SUNRISE trilogy, the multiculturalism of the Zoe Saldana led Netflix series, FROM SCRATCH, with a dash of New York City chic and edge of SEX AND THE CITY with a Latin flair, and yet tackles authentic, timely and often times challenging subjects.


Our story focuses on Riley and the people in her orbit, starting with her love interest, Juan Carlos. They are two people in love from vastly different cultural backgrounds and, integrated with the fascinating and diverse cast of characters that surround them, our story is as unique as it is contemporary. The viewer is pulled into their world as the characters navigate the twists and turns of modern relationships in the exhilarating whirlwind that is New York City. 


Through this lens, we explore the characters with stylistic simplicity, keeping the focus on the actors and their tremendous abilities to infuse these characters with depth, humor and complexity. No stereotypes or clear heroes and villains in this storytelling, just real people, doing the very best they can, every day.

Life of Riley - TRAILER, a short film by Lisa Datz

Life of Riley - TRAILER, a short film by Lisa Datz

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Director's Statement

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