31 January 2015 | bob the moo
A slight, but honest, little relationship drama
This film looks at two couples; Matt & Willa are either just having fun, or just starting to date properly, depending on who you speak to. They met via Abby & Owen, who have been together for about 5 years, with Abby mostly staying each night at Owen's house, even though they don't technically live together – mostly they watch TV and hang out together. With both parts of both couples feeling and seemingly wanting different things, the film talks to them each individually.
Although it runs to nearly 20 minutes long, this film manages to engage for the duration even though, at the same time, the drama is very slight throughout. This strange contradictory balancing act is somehow carried off because at the heart of the writing the film is pretty honest about the small things. There is no big central concepts in the relationships, nothing forced about the small drama they have, and the short film flows better for it. The film is framed as a documentary, which seems like a slightly lazy device given how many shows and films have done in (in particular since The Office it seems like it is the go-to framing device for anything these days) but it mostly justifies itself here because it isn't overused and it does allow the characters to talk in a safe environment.
This doesn't replace smaller moments between characters where more is felt that is being said, and these also work. The cast being so natural in their roles certainly helps, as they make the dialogue and scenarios feel quite realistic rather than like performances. I'm not sure I totally liked the idea of how young the cast were though, and to a certain degree there were no situations or personalities that would not have felt more convincing in a slightly older person – not least of which the property which Owen lives in by himself! The film looks neat; the clean, honest lines which run through the dialogue are reflected by the style of filming as there is little clutter around the edges of either the shot or the set.
It isn't an amazing film that will make the scales fall from your eyes, or stay in your memory/heart for days and weeks afterwards, but it is a refreshing slight and honest little relationship, that feels natural and engaging for the most part.