Written and Directed by:Emily Skyle-Golden
STARRING: Neil Fannin
Producer:Mark Carey, Alphonse Polito, Tyler Bourns
Dear George is a heartwarming romantic comedy from Writer/Director Emily Skyle-Golden, about George (NEIL FANNIN), a man who is physically larger-than-life, but emotionally lacking in confidence; and who must overcome his fear of expressing his true feelings in order to win back the love of his life.
The film begins with George being left by girlfriend Katie, because he isn’t brave enough to show her how he really feels about her. The story itself has a reasonably familiar character arc – the shy guy who must break out of his shell to win a girl’s heart - but it’s stylishly and endearingly executed, with refreshingly anti-Hollywood casting in the form of lead actor Fannin, whose subtly comedic performance carries the film delightfully.
At 18 minutes this film could have felt over-long, but the narrative unfolds at a snappy pace, and there are some wonderful moments of physical comedy, such as when George gets trapped in his car by a pizza delivery driver and has to try and maneuver his way out, or when he visits his curvy pole-dancing neighbours who clearly have a crush on him.
In fact, the quirky characterisation throughout sets the film apart from other boy-attempts-to-win-girl stories. There are several amusing and unique supporting roles, from the wannabe-comedian lobby boy who breaks the bad news of Katie's departure to George; to the aggressive airport security guards and Katie’s brash, promiscuous mother. It all makes for a very entertaining ensemble, although it did feel like there was a missed opportunity in the characterisation of Katie herself. She was notably absent from most of the film, and aside than being a kind, good-tempered person, her character wasn’t given as much depth and nuance as the rest, and it wasn’t entirely clear why she was drawn to George, other than them having been childhood friends. This seemed a shame given the attention to detail elsewhere – and detracted a little from the impact of the final reunion.
The film looks and sounds fantastic, and is an extremely impressive achievement, particularly given its relatively low budget. Musically there were a range of tracks that subtly underpinned the atmosphere of each scene, creating a quirky rom-com tone without ever overpowering the action.
Overall this was a charming film, carried by a winning lead performance and a pleasingly offbeat sense of humour.
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