To break up with someone is to essentially let go of a part of yourself you might not yet be willing to relinquish. Originally called The Bounceback, Love & Air Sex may leave something to be desired in title, but certainly makes up for it in substance with regard to this subject. Starring relative unknowns like Ashley Bell (best known for The Walking Dead), it is easy to focus solely on the message of Bryan Poysner's bittersweet, poignantly delivered story of two exes, Cathy (Bell) and Stan (Michael Stahl-David), who can't seem to fully get over one another--or rather, who they once were when they were with each other.
Told through a series of pictures at the beginning of the movie, we see that after Cathy is accepted to NYU School of Medicine and Stan decides to pursue his film career aspirations in L.A., the two depart Austin with relative uncertainty about their relationship's future. To make the abandonment of Austin even harder, they must leave behind their best friends, Jeff (Zach Cregger) and Kara (Sara Paxton), who are also dating and living together at the time.
Six months of separation and Skyping is all it takes to make Stan ambivalent enough to express the desire to take a break a.k.a. break up. But when he sees on Facebook (the bane of all emotional wound healing), that Cathy is going to be in Austin for the weekend, he decides to book a last minute 800 dollar flight to see her. When he arrives at the airport, Jeff is there waiting to pick him up, but immediately makes himself scarce when he sees Kara standing nearby in anticipation of Cathy. While Kara doesn't see Jeff, she catches sight of Stan coming down the escalator and tells him to stay the fuck away from her friend (even though she's also friends with Stan).
Previously unaware that Kara and Jeff had broken up, Stan is surprised to see how things have changed among his friends in Austin. Most surprising of all, however, is Jeff's recent obsession with winning the Air Sex World Championship that takes place at the Alamo Drafthouse. Now that Jeff has been crashing with two of his slovenly friends, he can freely come up with the lewdest possible air sex moves to disgust the audience with.
Stan's focus, meanwhile, is on finding Cathy, a goal that becomes obscured when he meets a woman from L.A. named Haley (Addison Timlin), a musician who's in town for the weekend. After Stan helps her find her phone, she mentions that he should come check out her show, since virtually no one else has. Cathy, too, has encountered her own tall dark stranger on her jaunt out with Kara. Allured by the promise of someone new, Stan and Cathy must decide if what they're both holding on to is causing more pain than it's worth.
Full of surprises and not at all embracing of the cliche, Love & Air Sex is one of the more honest films of late to showcase the necessity of moving on from a relationship, no matter how fond of or comfortable you feel with the person.