Short Film Review “Annie Waits”



First, the Recap:

Come on, be honest. You know you want it. Regardless of whatever else is transpiring in life, no matter how you’ve even tried to convince yourself you don’t need it, desire it, or feel required to commit to it, yeah, you really want it. Hey, talking about seeking out “the one”, folks, sheesh! The soulmate, that perfect match, someone you just know you will forever love and yearn for. However, for twenty-something Annie Waits (April Kelley), this whole notion might just be a tad harder to attain than anticipated. After all, life is about consistent freedom and fun, even as she initially watches friends gush over a baby with an unimpressed apathy.

So, it starts with basic attraction, the here and now, in the moment as Annie first “settles” in with Dan (Matthew James Ovens). With the standard mix of lust and general infatuation, the luster soon wears thin, only within months, and Annie’s trigger words like marriage and children drive an inevitable wedge between the two. Not too long after seeing their paths separate, Annie spies Mike (Sam Gittins) and the same cycle is engaged, as with Jacob (Moses Gomes-Santos), and Johnny (Sam Swainsbury), etc, etc, etc. But then comes Patrick (Andrew Simpson), and suddenly, finally, adult life might not be so intimidating after all. Right, Patrick?

Next, my Mind:

With a candid, blunt, and forthright tone combined with smartly conceived humor both subtle and blatant, director/co-producer Marnie Paxton-Harris’ 8-minute short film certainly makes its pointed statements about the chaotic, lust-centric, non-committal nature of us finding our forever friend with biting doses of realistic attitudes that many might not freely admit they experienced or instigated during the younger, less focused years of their lives. Fully tackling the entire notion of short-lived “love” that always seems to end up in arguments, drawing apart, and not wanting to face the responsibility of growing up, the theme is lightened up at least with the film’s wonderfully sarcastic delivery and quite hilarious “wash, rinse, dry, repeat” monotony portrayed via Annie’s many “relationships”. Again, the effectiveness here is the fact that it’s all so true to life! That’s right, peeps, fess up!

Kelley is a highly amusing and radiant presence throughout the effort as Annie, a young woman so unenthused and quite frankly bewildered by the entire concept of adulthood, that she makes a total pledge to avoid arriving there so as to simply try and enjoy her freeform existence. Unable to maintain a romance with any man longer that a few months thanks to a specific pattern she’s finding herself in, the ultimately unfulfilling essence of it all finally gets exposed, but then shaken up upon finally meeting the man of her dreams. Kelley’s mainly first person voiceover narration accompanying the additional moments of dialogue is fantastic and laugh-inducing, and again, her overall performance is just perfect and undeniably endearing.

Ovens, Gittins, Gomes-Santos, Swainsbury, and Simpson are all equally entertaining as the myriad of men that enter and then exit Annie’s life, each bringing to the table their own particular quirks, attitudes, faults, and ego-driven bravado that is quite hysterical, especially given once again it’s just such an overtly accurate picture of what guys are so often like. Simpson is additionally note-worthy thanks to his riotous contribution to the film’s brilliantly arranged finale. Additional appearances from Sara Huxley, Mark Collier, and Alex Jordan are present here as well. In total, “Annie Waits” is a wonderfully written, intelligently delivered portrayal of striving for love in a modern world wrapped in a satirical blanket whose message might just be worth learning from when it comes to the ever-elusive search for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!





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