(1992 TV Short)

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A pretty amusing little comedy despite being pretty slight and low on budget
bob the moo21 June 2004
Jessica is a cocktail waitress in a wine bar working on Valentine's Day. Yet another fight and ultimatum from her boyfriend Roy causing her to look round at the many couples in the restaurant and wonder what she is missing out on. Further hassle from barman Tyrell makes her start to express an interest in Matt, who comes in on a regular basis while also letting her imagination run wild with the many flaws the other couples have.

Starting with the same tinkling score that all the short films I have seen from Chanticleer Films (in terms of short films anyway) and, as always, I sank a little bit as I realized that this would probably not really be anything special and was already failing to differ from their usual style. I was right in that regard but I still enjoyed it and, in fairness, it is not unreasonable to accept that a production company will produce similar styles and feels across its work. The film is about relationships and takes a very light little look at them by using Ally McBeal style (albeit years before that series started) fantasy sequences to do the job. As such it is rather light on plot (as shorts often have to be) but does amuse. The fantasy sequences are hardly hilarious but they cleverly extend the characteristics of the relationships that Jessica sees to the next level to reasonable effect. This is enough to make it worth watching and it is just a shame that the main thread of Jessica's love life tends to become secondary to these moments.

The cast are good and feature a few well known faces in there. Alison Elliott leads the film well with a rather nice character and a performance to match, she easily wins over the audience and makes her judgemental attitude towards others easier to accept. The rest of the cast have almost no characters to really speak of and just provide support but it was good to see Michael Beach doing his usual cool, suave stuff in this short – he's a good looking and slick guy no matter what your orientation is! The cast seem to like the material too, as they have not come for the money as there appears to be very little of that kicking around. The bar is simply a black soundstage with some furniture in it and it doesn't look like any real money was spent on it – but this is a short and I have no problem with low budget stuff as long as it doesn't let it constrain it in terms of substance.

Overall this is hardly earth shattering stuff and it is not really the sort of thing that will stick in your mind but it is enjoyable nonetheless. The plot is basic and really more about relationships generally than Jessica's in particular but in that regard it works because it is quite well observed and has quite a few amusing moments. As I said, hardly the best thing you'll ever see but it is pleasant and quite amusing to watch.
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