Print this page

HollyShorts 2016: Romantic Comedy Block - Film Reviews

This year at HollyShorts, one of the more anticipated blocks of films seemed to be the Romantic Comedy Block. With nearly a dozen films on display, it was a pleasure to get to see the wonderfully hilarious and heartwarming films that appeared this year.

The First Time

Losing your virginity is something that many young men and women both fear and look forward to. It can be a scary thing, especially if that first time is actually within your grasp. That's the case for two young people who decide to take their relationship to the next level, despite their fears. It doesn't help that one half of the couple enlists her best friend to help her get ready for the event.

A hilarious look at a touchy subject, The First Time is fun, goofy, and a great time. Directed by Britt Logan and starring Hassie Harrison, Tyler Winther, and Rob Westin, it's worth seeking out.


Future Boyfriend

This is a weird one. In the future, time travel technology exists. As does 15g internet, holograms, and all sorts of crazy future technology. The important one is the time travel, which a young nursing home aide named Stuart uses to travel back in time to find Kaylie, one of the residents he took care of, so he can go out with her.

It's uncomfortable in moments, but the cast does a wonderful job really committing to the story. Directed by Ben Rock and written by A. Vincent Ularich, it really hits some great notes.


P + V

Another entry into the pantheon of films about losing your virginity, P + V takes the concept and adds some really touching moments, as Penny and her best friend Vince take a chance on each other for their first time, an occasion that is even more important to Penny, since she's finally ready for her boyfriend Nick, who thinks she's already lost her virginity.

Written by and starring Maddie McGuire and directed by Michael Anothony Lopez, this is a fun and visually entertaining film about a concept that is familiar, but made all its own here. The unique spin is really fun to watch, especially some of the more comedic moments between McGuire and co-star Sasha Feldman.


The Session

This is one of the more unique concepts I've seen at the festival so far, taking a subject such as S & M and making it less about the more uncomfortable aspects and more about the relationship between a man and his dom. A new dominatrix enters her first session with a client, only to find much more between them as the two work to help each other through their respective issues.

This was a fascinating film that explored new ground in a subject that didn't get much covered in the first place. Written by stars Ashley Jordyn and Alexi Bondar and directed by Morgane Sarah Becerril, it's a strange, but beautiful, journey that was really unexpected.


Divorce Photographer

Unhappy in her job as a wedding photographer and suffering after a rather bad break-up, Carla makes a revolutionary decision: to stop photographing weddings and start taking photos of divorces, capturing the final moments in unhappy marriages forever.

It's a great concept by writer and director Christine Buijs and wonderfully pulled off by the cast. The concept really took hold quickly and turned everything on its head as what felt like a very deep short piece.


Exit Survey

A really fun film conceptually, this film focuses on a young couple who decide it's time to end their relationship. Well, one of them does, at least. In order to terminate the relationship properly, the boyfriend looking to get out must answer a few simple questions to enable a better future experience for others.

This was pretty hilarious, with the concept coming totally out of left field for me. Writers Kristyn Carey and Thom Harp (who also directed) did a great job bringing an awkward subject to light in a new way.


Pillow Talk

Two people have what at first glance seems like a great night. Good times, good sex, and a good person to hang around. But as the hour gets late, it comes time to rest, and now they must sleep together in the same bed for the first time, an idea that can be very difficult, especially at first.

Writer, director, and star Nardeep Khurmi and co-star Jessy Schram do a great job of capturing the awkward moments that come with sharing a bed with someone. The odd positions, new weights and angles, and the idea that sometimes just falling asleep can be the hardest part of this whole situation.


Peter the Gullible

Peter has a pretty great life, especially when it comes to his girlfriend Jenny. He's so taken with her that on this night, he's planning a perfect evening that will end in what he hopes is a successful marriage proposal. That's not exactly what happens, as two friends come by to give him bad news about his beloved, which sends Peter into an awkward tailspin as he tries to accept and believe something that may or may not be the truth.

Directed by Cyrus Kowsari and starring Peter Marr, Carly Steel, J. Kristopher, and Richard Halverson, this is a strange, but fun, look at a night gone wrong.


Dating Eliza

Meeting someone on the Internet can be odd, as first impressions online may not always translate. This is especially true for John, who meets Debbie (or as her real name is, Eliza) and proceeds to go on one of the oddest dates of all time, as Eliza's life becomes more and more complex before our eyes. The date morphs and shifts, leaving both Eliza and John to pick up the pieces, especially since Eliza's parents show up, bringing a whole new wrinkle into an already weird situation.

Written and directed by Peter Lydon, this oddly adorable British tale stars Selina MacDonald, Toby Manley, Clive Russell, and Jane Asher.



Related items