Short Film Review “Bernie & Rebecca” 4



First, the Recap:

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the adventure of a lifetime! With a phrase such as this, one immediately expects pomp and circumstance, a massive celebration promoting a singular opportunity that will forever change the way you view and experience living. Yes indeed, this will radically transform everything for you, no question. Maybe in this case, however, it all takes on a slightly different twist. On a fine evening like any other, two people walk up the stairs to the doorway of a trendy apartment–Bernie (Kyle Davis) and Rebecca (Brianna Barnes)–returning from the blind date they just had. As the apparently awkward night is about to end, a conversation begins that takes things to a markedly different place.

Beginning with an initially tense then innocent banter about each other’s names, Rebecca invites Bernie in for a glass of wine. What follows at first seems like any other normal exchange about each other’s pasts and associated topics which brings them both to the point of undeniable attraction.  However, once the dolling up and breath checks have commenced and the intimacy of the atmosphere they’ve created comes about, so does a kaleidoscopic range of additional subjects that present themselves in the shape of what the couple’s future would become. Suddenly, the concept of “Call me!” takes on a whole new form.

Next, my Mind:

Seasoned editor turned debut director/co-producer Melissa Kent creates quite a stir with this 15-minute first time effort in the lead chair, delivering a scarily accurate, bitingly satiric dramedy about not only the standard ups and downs of those initial tete-a-tetes had when first dating, but the rationales and forward thinking visualizations we harbor in our minds about exactly what life would be like in the long haul with this person we’ve become so infatuated with. Furthermore, what makes this time-spanning format so effective is the sheer notion of encountering it all within the space of the couple’s post-date activities and the fact that despite the destined road they’ve “chosen”, with all its prospective beauty and heartbreak laid out, they end the evening in a typical composed, calm, nonchalant way otherwise, which puts a darkly comedic exclamation point to events. Smoothly shot with its single-setting structure intermixed with flash-forward sequences, the pacing is perfect and keeps the viewer highly engaged throughout with the interplay of the two leads and the adeptly crafted fusion of drama and comedy carrying us along.

Barnes is a wonder in her role as Rebecca, a beautiful, effervescent woman whose looks have been both a blessing and a curse, a fact of which comes out when trying to fully ascertain the intentions of her potential life partner to be. The level of caution she exercises clearly melts away when being confronted with someone who defies initial expectations, and that’s when her flirty, sexy side comes out.  Yet, in view of this, it is also when the unfolding of her notions about the couple’s future engage as well, and it presents a portrait that is both tender and tragic, with Barnes portraying this with comedic and dramatic poise, charm, allure, and grace throughout. Davis is just as noteworthy in his performance as the other half of this equation, Bernie, a highly successful, confident, yet socially awkward man in the face of pristine loveliness, immediately fawning over Rebecca and saying all the right things at the right times in his bid to win her over.  It is this exact demeanor, however, that begins to make one wonder if he really is that genuinely nice guy, or if it’s all hiding a potential cad underneath that won’t come out until well into their supposedly figured out future. This is explored in certain ways during their musings to great affect, and very well-played with an understated conviction by Davis.

Supporting appearances are made by Jessica Hickam, Carol Mack, and Rory O’Connor here as well. In total, with a pointed wit and affecting flare that shines a potent light on the entire concept of relationships and how we tend to analyze each other in trying to “create” the future we might have, “Bernie and Rebecca” actually stands as not only a brilliant indie short film effort, but a cautionary tale perhaps that might cause us to re-think compatibility and what factors truly drive our tendencies in choosing a life partner. Or, maybe just like the film, it won’t matter, and we’ll dive in anyway simply hoping we’ll be willing to fight for the best, weather the worst, and ideally enjoy this thing called life together.

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



4 thoughts on “Short Film Review “Bernie & Rebecca”

  1. Reply Maria Francesca May 28,2017 10:17 pm

    I saw this short at the Cleveland Film Festival and loved it! Very funny and also heartwarming. It’s online now for anyone to watch.

  2. Reply Kim Hess May 28,2017 11:10 pm

    I as well saw this at the CIFF! What a fun heart warming short that leaves you wanting more! BRAVO!!

  3. Reply Charlie McGowan May 29,2017 3:54 am

    I was fortunate to have been given access to this great little film a while back and for a few moments I saw myself trying to win the heart of the pretty girl.

    It really demonstrated the twists and turns of how life can be , filled with hope, young love and disappointment as well as life long lasting love and affection.

    Being a “nice” guy I often found myself trying or willing to do anything to please but women don’t always want the good guy and the good guy doesn’t always get the pretty girl.

    But life isn’t always like that, I got mine. Did you?

  4. Reply Nicole Hibshman Jun 19,2017 1:33 pm

    Loved this short film! I found it clever and relatable. Well done!

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