Love and Other Stuff
Love and Other Stuff is a darkly comic short, directed by Joe Ferrera, and written by Liz Farahadi, and stars Cameron Jack and Liz Farahadi as a couple who engage in unusual seduction ritual one night.
The film opens with the image of a red high heeled shoe, and a woman’s foot behind it, as a 1950s crooner sings, ‘When you walk in the garden of Eden’. This choice of music implies themes related to Adam and Eve, suggesting this will be a story focusing on gender within a male/female relationship. The next shot is a woman lying on a sofa, waiting for her partner to return home. When he arrives, they exchange Shakespearean insults – “thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade” / “Get thee to a nunnery” as a kind of seduction ritual, which is interrupted when the man is distracted by mess in the room. The conversation quickly degenerates into an argument about why the woman has brought her work home with her and hasn’t cleared up.
The end of the film is punctuated by an engaging and surprising twist, but up until this point, without the context provided by the twist, the dialogue feels a touch obscure and whimsical. Cameron Jack as the aggravated husband does a sterling job of making the slightly eccentric dialogue feel believable; switching from seductive to aggravated to stroppy with authenticity. However, the use of Shakespearean language feels strange, as it isn’t clear why this couple would be doing this - they aren’t actors, so it seemed bizarre that they would know a range of quotations from Shakespeare by heart.
That said, the basic idea behind the film is a fun and imaginative one, and the production values are solid, with moody lighting giving a suitably atmospheric feel to the domestic setting. The shots themselves are relatively simple; mostly a two-shot and singles, and this, in addition to the emphasis on dialogue over visuals, did create more of a tone of TV sketch than cinema.
Overall, the dialogue feels a little too quirky, but clearly writer Liz Farahadi has a vibrant imagination, and if this could be applied alongside robust characterisation and more cinematic visuals the result could be strong.
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Written BY: Liz Farahadi
Directed by: Joe Ferrera
STARRING: Cameron Jack and Liz Farahadi