Short Film Review “The Best Birthday Ever”

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First, the Recap:

Don’t we all end up not acting our age at times? Can we not find some excuse to just let maturity fly by the wayside and be one hundred percent childish? Of course, how others perceive and receive this attitude might be a whole different tale. Ah, who cares?? Take, for example, Dimpton (Cole Jaeger), an actual teenager/ young adult who decidedly acts as far from his age as possible. To top things off–today is his birthday, and he’s ready to celebrate with all manner of wishes.

Thrown a party by his dad, Father Bo (Timothy J. Cox), and uncle, Bib (Scott Schuler), Dimpton presents his special day in recollected detail as each request he desires is granted. From the wonder of McNuggets (complete with an unconventional condiment), taking a whirl on the playground slide (complete with trauma, then a redo), a tire swing (complete with nonsensical political arguments between Bo and Bib), and finally to the beach (complete with another political nightmare). Yes, according to Dimpton, everything about his birthday ended up being the best ever. Now–time to go vote.

Next, my Mind:

With a runtime of only 5 minutes, one could certainly argue it would be exceedingly difficult to make a film have a point, much less one fleshed out in any feasible fashion.  However, this reviewer has seen it accomplished before, and actor/writer/director/editor Jaeger assuredly ranks among indie filmmakers who could with this completely screwball comedic effort that also manages to become, at least in part, a rather biting political satire. Seeing a narrative based on a late teens kid acting like a five-year old is already silly as it is, but add the hilariously outrageous ways he acts while embarking on his birthday adventure, plus the subtle jabs at the state of affairs for this country’s millennials and how their generation is so often identified. Quips about Obama and other hints of the Democratic party abound, effectively so, I say.

Jaeger is undeniably over the top hysterical in this film, very much getting into his role complete with not only the surface childish actions and attitudes, but also in the character’s vain attempts to surmise so much about what’s going on around him, including a totally kid-like affinity for poking fun at “clueless” adults. His “revelation” that everyone around him needs to “grow down” to his level instead of him growing up is funny here as well. Rather entitled and in need of change. Cox, per usual, makes the most of playing Father Bo to witty ends, utilizing body language and his patented character actor skills to make you laugh even when he’s not saying a word. Schuler’s Bib mainly gets to stand around and observe, which is what makes it fun when he tries to step in engage with his nephew, much to the ire of Father Bo and the ensuing confrontation.

A quick appearance by Drew Gannon as the disconcerting vision Dimpton has while at the beach serves its purpose to a “T” and in total, makes “The Best Birthday Ever” a clever piece of indie filmmaking with a wonderfully zany, madcap, wacky execution.

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

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