Saturday, December 01, 2012

Split the Check!

It's finally here! Here is Split the Check starring Brad Meehan, Eric McGrane, Aaron Lau, Michelle Davison, Alan Loman, and Jason Miller. Written by Brad Meehan and Patrick Rea.

Split the Check from Patrick Rea on Vimeo.

Here's a great review from Forced Viewing:

Some friendships can’t even make it through dinner.

* * *
Three couples are having dinner at what seems to be a fancy restaurant.  Snarky comments roll by but it seems fine.  Then the real horror happens:  They have to pay.  The douche  nozzle of a waiter can’t/won’t split the check for them!  Well this is the last straw indeed.  How can this issue be resolved?

I am floored with this short.  It is so absurd and yet somehow keeps it almost reality based.  Yes the end scene is slapstick heaven, and yet if you put it in the context of how people would behave in that situation it isn’t too far off base.  For all intents and purposes that scene along with the accompanying score should absolutely make me hate it.  It’s no secret that my funny bone is broken (or at the very least kind of wonky) and this is exactly the kind of humor that doesn’t normally appeal to me.  So what sort of devil contract have you signed Mr. Rea?!

Writer/director Patrick Rea has a firm grip on how to tell stories that are at the same time outrageous and accessible.  He takes natural situations and zooms in on the unbelievable in a way that makes you think that yeah, in an alternate reality this could happen.  At the very least these could be eerie representations of people’s daydreams.

The acting is outstanding across the board – everyone hams it up just enough to emphasize the silliness without making me cringe.  The waiter stands out because of course we’ve encountered shitballs like him at least once.  They all transition from a straight scene to slapstick smoothly.
Add in the gorgeous professional quality cinematography and a score that works on every level and we are in the presence of genius.  Rea has an eye for the mundane that shouldn’t matter and yet it seems that he is some sort of mathematical whiz.  Each scene is calculated to perfection – even tiny things like having to see this guy use his fingers.  Two different presentations – one where you don’t notice because it’s from the perspective of everyone else who doesn’t give a damn, and the second from the perspective of his irritated wife.  The close up feels exactly like what his wife is thinking.  I should know – that is a pet peeve of mine that I could write about for hours.  (Give me evisceration, give me gore – but please for the love of god I can’t handle dirty hands!)

Patrick Rea is a force to be reckoned with, Hollywood! He knows how to please the viewer without throwing generic crap in their faces.  He takes the generic and molds it into an interesting experience that you can connect with, no matter how silly.  I hope he keeps these coming, because I can’t get enough of them.