Relationships are fertile ground for telling stories. So many emotions and events happen between two people that the storytelling options are all but limitless. From dealing with starting a new partnership to ending a long term one to major changes that come about, films have dealt with the many aspects of being in a relationship.
Still Wylde is a comedy short that was scheduled to screen at this year’s SXSW. The short looks at a looming decision Gertie (Ingrid Haas) and her boyfriend Sam have to make. The two make their decision but soon learn they have to make another huge choice.
The writing is incredibly funny as is immediately made clear by an interaction between Gertie and a convenience store clerk. (The two actually bookend the short with the best exchanges of the film.) The story is not just about making its audience laugh, however.
Haas also directed the film which is full of heart. The subject matter is surprisingly serious. The short’s major revelation is handled very awkwardly as is the ending. The pacing is done well as Haas does a great job of building up the tension and keeping her audience wondering what the couple will do next. The dark short does not weave as effortlessly between the humor and drama as one would hope, though.
A scene involving Gertie and Sam hanging out with Gertie’s friends is a great example of what could have been. It is made clear that the others do not really care for Sam. This is shown through some clever comments that are both funny and also give backstory to the characters. It also does not downplay the severity of what caused the confrontation.
Contrasted with a scene in a doctor’s office in which Gertie makes a joke after learning something about herself. In a vacuum, the line is funny. It just does not work as well as it could after Still Wylde hits the audience with a shocking emotional gut punch. In this case, the entire short becomes more of a vehicle for quick one liners instead of a dark comedy.
Still Wylde is an excellent film for the vast majority of its runtime. Director Ingrid Haas hits some pacing snaps, but the script is delightful. The humor is decidedly dark, but it will definitely elicit some genuine laughs. There is also an interesting premise packed into the twelve minutes. The short deals with a serious story that will keep the audience engrossed the entire time.
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