Saturday, August 27, 2016

Short Film Spotlight: HER FRIEND ADAM

Welcome to another installment of SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT. This week we take a look at the 2016 SXSW selection, HER FRIEND ADAM.

Howdy fellow film freaks, Robert here. I really had no idea what to review for this column; short films aren't my thing. So as I usually do when I don't know which way to go, I asked the great god Google. "Watch Her Friend Adam," came the reply. "It's this week's featured short on"

So I watched it, and now I'm beginning to doubt that Google has my best interests at heart.

Her Friend Adam is an alleged romantic comedy about two twenty-something hipsters and a relationship meltdown touched off for utterly stupid reasons. Liv is a starving artist living in a rathole apartment where she uses her art to investigate her puerile fixation on bodily orifices. As this masterwork opens, for example, she has just completed a new piece featuring Minnie Mouse's genitals, thus assuring that the future of art is bright. Her boyfriend, who is also named Robert, sadly, is a person who is also in this movie. He has no backstory, or characterization; he's just there to set things in motion.

Robert arrives just as Liv the Paintbrush Pornographer is putting the finishing touches on her aforementioned masterpiece. The two are going to the show tonight -- that's it, just "The Show", like something out of a Dick and Jane book -- but they have to wait a while for Adam to arrive and retrieve his camera. Apparently he was there earlier taking pictures of Liv's artistry. Why didn't he just take his camera with him when he left? Was he using one of those old-timey cameras with the accordion on the front, and he needs someone to help him carry it? This mystery is never solved; be sure to leave your fan theories in the comments below!

So now that our scintillating tale is established, Liv steps away for a moment to freshen up, leaving her phone behind. In that moment, Robert goes into Stereotypical Guy Mode: if another guy was here with Liv while Robert was out, that must mean Liv is cheating on him! Robert siezes the moment and tries to peek at Liv's text messages with Adam, and she catches him. Under questioning, which is like a Jerry Springer segment minus the fistfight, Robert's status as a tiny little man-boy is sealed. Robert's afraid that Liv is going to leave him for another guy, because Robert doesn't like himself very much. That's why he peeked at her texts. The fact that Robert is so insecure that he views Adam, who is gay, as a romantic rival could have been funny under other circumstances, but Liv gets so busy shrieking at Robert and humiliating him that there was really nothing to laugh about. After a few minutes of this Adam shows up, Robert flees the field of battle in utter disgrace, Liv and Adam hug for some reason, and this exercise in exruciating drudgery finally, blessedly, ends.

Look, I get it: trust is crucial in a relationship. Robert showed a lack of trust, and paid the price. That's the way it goes. I can't even pretend that there aren't guys out there who are really this pathetic. My problem with this film is that it has no story to speak of; it's not even very interesting. Her Friend Adam is like a segment from a low-brow reality TV show, maybe something that would come on just before Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, as a kind of warm-up act. Short films aren't my thing, but I have seen some. I have even seen some that I liked. This is not among their number. This does not even warrant a second viewing.

It breaks my heart to have to tell you this, but I couldn't find an embed link for this movie; all I can do is link to it. There is, however, a one minute trailer, consisting entirely of Robert repeating the phrase "I don't like that guy", that I have embedded below, and if that thing doesn't convince you to skip this hot mess, maybe this list of other ways to spend your time will help. Seriously folks, this is sixteen minutes of your life you're never going to have again.

Her Friend Adam contains adult language and adult content.

Robert's Score: 0/10

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