Short Film Review “Cauliflower”



First, the Recap:

Ah yes, the dinner party. We’ve all been to them, right? Always a fun time with close friends, intelligent banter–well, ok, maybe not always intelligent–, and to top it all off, superb food and drink. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? On this particular evening of frivolity, three friends–Karen (Connie Castanzo), Abby (Katie Hutch), and Phoebe (Phoebe Torres)–have come to their other friend Lindsey’s (Meghan St. Thomas) place for hors-d’oeuvres, casual conversations, and a fine entrée prepared by her for their dining pleasure.

Announcing the dishes to be served as the main meal one at a time, the girls all approve excitedly until Lindsey comes to the final element–steamed cauliflower. When the silence is through being deafening, the couch-bound trio individually begins to expound on their appreciation for the veggie, despite showing their totally transparent ignorance of what it actually is. Despite Lindsey’s vain attempts to let them know it’s fine they are not familiar with it, to their emphatic denials, the situation devolves into a cacophony of increasingly non-sequitur, confused nonsense until Lindsey’s frustration beckons action, and the ensuing comment sums it all up!

Next, my Mind:

Suffice it say, this reviewer has not laughed that hard overall at a comedic finale in a long time, while also enjoying a total flood of laughs on the way getting there, which is greatly owed to the masterful execution experienced viewing this 3-minute short film from director Natasha Straley paired with the exemplary writing of actress/co-producer Torres. From the very moment the situation spins into a tangled world of just the word “cauliflower” being debated to an increasingly unfolding mess of the same word being warped into random, similar sounding ones that steer the entire context of discussion seriously amiss alone is a total exercise in hilarity, notwithstanding the equally chuckle-inducing pleas by Lindsey to the trio that their unenlightened state is ok until finally taking the needed steps to make the situation clear.  What occurs after the next moment of stunned silence is one of the most riotous exclamations I’ve heard in a while, again made so by the context of events.

Despite its very brief runtime, this is truly a quality ensemble effort here from the actresses involved, which is what makes the affair so worth investing the time in. Castanzo, Hutch, and Torres play the young, beautiful, sophisticated, knowledgeable trio of Karen, Abby, and Phoebe with smooth, smartly delivered performances that seamlessly transition from their regular pre-meal repartee into the complete insanity that follows the announcement of the mysterious vegetable. Without a hesitation, each moves in and out of the progressively deteriorating subject matter, not missing a beat, which keeps the humor involved strong and engaging while continually giving their characters that ongoing sense that they DO know what they’re talking about–even though they don’t.  Then adding to this wonderful cast is St. Thomas as party host Lindsey who has the dubious honor of playing verbal referee unsuccessfully, having to then make the move she does, which heralds the epic finale. Well done!

In total, whether soaring on its savvy, quick-witted writing, running on its wonderfully precise direction, or floating in our hearts with the laughter elicited through the film’s top notch character renderings, there should be zero doubt that “Cauliflower” will keep winning the awards and recognition it so richly deserves. It is a tribute to the talent that resides in the independent film world, which as this reviewer keeps stating, is an arena more people need to stand up and take notice of. Kudos, ladies! Really well-earned, needed, laugh-generating kudos.

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

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