Ah, young love! It’s easy to forget that romance is a legitimate genre of film. Then add a “coming of age” element, and you have a little nostalgic romance in your hands. John Woosley tells a nice efficient tale in his short film Alex & The Firefly.
It’s the beginning of summer 2001, Alex (Roan Ricker) and Zach (Anthony Giordano) are best high school buds. Alex is shy around the girls and Zach is his confidence and kind of a goof. Alex is also good friends with Lucy (Kaylin Mally) with whom he may have a little crush. Zach sets up a little group thing with Alex, Lucy, and himself at the local bowling alley. It is on this group date that Alex meets Lucy’s new friend Nina (Lacy Goettling) and sparks fly.
Alex hears that Nina likes him and gets Zach to call her to see if she likes him or not. Alex is a socially awkward kid who prefers not taking risks in life because failing would be worse. Always responsive, Alex never initiates affection with Nina.
“…a socially awkward kid who prefers not taking risks in life because failing would be worse.”
Alex & the Firefly is a very light and endearing teen drama. In this story of young love, the stakes are low. Does she/doesn’t she. As an audience, we can probably identify with Alex and his struggle to be open about his feelings toward Nina and as well as getting that all important first kiss.
Woosley story is simple and so is the entire production. Alex & the Firefly struggles with similar problems that filmmakers face with low budgets like minor inconsistencies in sound and color from scene-to-scene. Also editing during conversations could be tighter, so it feels real and improve the actors’ performances too. The bike riding action needs a few more wide shots to get a sense of the progress during the race and chase sequences.
The positives definitely outweigh the negatives in Woosley’s final product. He got good performances from his teen cast. All of his characters are likable and developed well. The overall story is good with enough insight into teen love to make that story worth telling. Minor tweaks could have made Alex & the Firefly flow better and elevate the quality of the final product.
Alex & the Firefly (2018) Written and directed by John Woosley. Starring Roan Ricker, Anthony Giordano, Kaylin Mally, Lacy Goettling.
6 out of 10 stars