Every job has its ups and downs. Whether you’re an actor fighting your way up the ladder despite critical barbs, or a formal school librarian turned bartender fighting off the unwanted advances of your boss, there’s always a way through the pain if you have someone who is willing to listen.
That’s the gist of Melissa Skirboll’s new short film OVERDUE. Starring Jeanine Bartel as Maureen, the ex-librarian now slaving away as a bartender, and Howard Hendrix Powell as Jason, an up-and-coming actor who used to go to the school where Maureen worked.
The closed section of the bar serves as a respite for both of them, a purgatory where they are able to take a breath and drop their respective guards. Both have the same problem, knowing their worth after being beaten down, but Maureen has a few more years on Jason, offering more perspective than he currently has.
They both connect over their overdue library books, both taken from the school at different times. Maureen’s as an act of defiance, and Jason’s as a means of inspiration. A romance between them both, despite their age difference is entirely possible, and the chemistry between the actors is strong. There are a few comedic elements, but this really focuses on the budding romance between these two characters and examines how they both find each other despite their respective issues.
The soundtrack and cinematography throughout the just-short-of-fifteen-minute-runtime is good, with only a few editing decisions that I could find any fault with. The audio quality of the dialogue seemed a little flat in the beginning but seemed to find its place as the film progresses.
This movie is a “feel good” and is a pick to play on any day you might not be feeling up to dealing with what life has in front of you. Also, if you can catch this at a film festival, it would make a great date movie for that indie film initiate that’s not sure if they “like indie movies”.
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