Few things are more annoying than listening to a pair of bros philosophize about life. As interesting as long conversations about board shorts and the Dave Matthews Band may be, it can become grating. Things become really bad when the talk turns to race and politics. No matter the starting point, bros will eventually enter into a deep discussion about sex.
Query is a 2020 short film that was scheduled to screen at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The story focuses on two roommates. Jay (Justice Smith) and Alex (Graham Patrick Martin) talk about heterosexuality over the course of their day. As the two debate the hows and whys of attraction, they decide there may be a definite way to come to a conclusion.
Sophie Kargman is able to pull off a minor miracle with her film. Jay and Alex are total bros. They refer to beer as precious cargo, for example. Both are the stereotypical frat boy like characters that are written as comedy in other films. (Part of the fun is they never know people are laughing at them and not with them.) They are instantly recognizable.
Smith and Martin play their roles tremendously. As they ruminate over the laws of attraction, they spend their day drinking, lounging in the pool, and playing games. They speak in bro talk as they try to determine one of life’s mysteries. With the exception of a cameo by Armie Hammer, Jay and Alex are the only characters. Having a pair of seemingly obnoxious bros carry a film is a huge risk.
It works thanks to the great chemistry between the two leads. The magic of the short is the two speak like stereotypical douche bags who are complete jokes and yet they come off as completely likable. Query does a great job of building to the inevitable finale. The script is two good friends talking about something they have talked about a number of times. The open ended nature of the film is perfect.
Query is a strong short film. The writing does an excellent job of taking characters that are normally the butt of the joke and making them interesting. The premise may seem like it is too much for a short. Director Sophie Kargman does solves this by not trying to answer all the questions. Instead, she tells a story about two young men trying to figure things out.
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