Ginger Gonzaga's Your Day is an amazing example of just that idea.
We meet our couple in a hotel room, and the day passes with the two of them being adorable, but there's something underneath, and as they flow through emotional responses to the events, and to each other's reactions to the events, and to their own interpretation of those reactions, we see two actors moving between mountains. This is a workshop in how you play off both your co-star and your own character's path, and director/star Gonzaga has so much to accomplish within her character that many would fall flat on presenting the nuance. She manages brilliantly.
Jason Ritter was known to me through his beautiful comedy work on Drunk History, and especially for the short The Five Stages of Grief, but here he has to sprinkle his comedic talent within a dramatic scenario. He nails it, without doubt more than carrying the weight he's given. If Gonzaga's Jane is the reason for the story we're watching unfold, it is Ritter's Jack who provides the audience's viewpoint.
This is a film which takes place in a room, but it is not claustrophobic at all. There is an intimacy, and at times it feels like we're being shown something beyond our real understanding. To say more on that front would be to diminish the impact, but let it be known that this is a film that never drags you along; it is a film that invites you to view a key moment in a tiny contained world, and the hearts of two brilliantly realised characters.
On a personal level, when we viewed it as a part of the selection process, it was a moving and personal moment I shared with my wife, who is also on our programming team. Afterwards, I gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead. There were tears, but also hearty laughter, much like we got from Jack and Jane on screen, but when it was done, and as we were hugging, I knew that we're not the last couple that will share that sort of moment after the credits roll.
Your Day shows as a part of Shorts Program 2 - Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes at the 2017 Cinequest Film and VR Festival. It's playing at the Century 20 Redwood City on Wed, Mar 1 at 9:20 PM, Wed March at 3:15pm, and Sunday March 12th at 1:30pm, as well as March 3rd at 3:15 at the Hammer Theatre in Downtown San Jose.
More info Here.