Film Review: Makeover

August 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Released: 2013; Narrative Short; Written & Directed by: Don Percy; With: Tom Travers, Charlie Ranger, Kristen Condon, Rita Crispin

Horrie Bedwell is alone. His dog Buster and beloved wife Maggie are gone. And his lady-scoring car keys are collecting cobwebs on a shelf. Enter Elsie, a personal ad-placer with a dog named Bacon, who Horrie suspects will revitalize him. As long as she doesn’t ever find out how old and rusty he really is.

Makeover details the charming and adorable tale of Horrie’s preparation for, and enjoyment of, their first date.

Makeover took second place at the 2013 Tropfest, the twenty one-year-old largest short film festival in the world, and rightly so. This film is darling, a little disgusting, and, ultimately, extraordinarily entertaining.

Technically, it’s a perfect counterpoint to its narrative, a visual parallel to the goings-on. During the first minutes, Horrie sits in his dusty, grimy home, talking to his dead wife and thumbing through the magazine which contains the personal ads. His home is a wreck and the film is filtered through his home’s grit, while miniscule rays of sunshine sift their way through (one can only imagine) cracks around his windows and holes in the framework. The grubbiness is maintained while Horrie files, rips, pins, paints, and vacuums himself into oblivion to prepare for his date. Once he’s out the door, though, be-wigged and bedazzled, oh, how the club music does play. Horrie’s world looks like it’s just discovered Technicolor. The pink of Elsie’s cardigan and the orange of their shared sundae cup nearly shine. They run on the beach and the sky is perfection, a clever and adorable visual representation of their newfound love.

But Elsie has a secret too, and Charlie Ranger and Kristen Condon, as the made-up Horrie and Elsie, are a delight as they reveal it. This is a lovely, little film and it made me smile through every cutesy (and occasionally revolting) second.

-Leah Gehlsen

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