I’m Good

From director Julia Nejman, the short film I’m Good brings cameras into a court-appointed therapy session. Written by Ydalie Turk and its star Ana Archen, they tell the story of a young woman, Sigizmunda (Ana Archen) who is ordered to see Dr. Pinez (Esteban de la Isla) and will hopefully help her uncover the reason why she was running and yelling in a local mall naked.

The session starts with awkward quiet as Dr. Pinez is not sure what approach to take with Sigizmunda as her defenses are up like an iron gate. She responds to questions about her family life with “I’m Good” and “Blessed.” What’s clear at this point is Dr. Pinez is not a very good therapist. Like any good counseling story, pressure should build toward an explosion of some sort and the tension released or resolved in some satisfying way.

“…ordered to see Dr. Pinez and…uncover the reason why she was running and yelling in a local mall naked.”

I’m Good just doesn’t work as a short film at all. As you can guess, this is supposed to be a comedy. While comedic ideas are presented, they’re not strong enough to produce a laugh. For example, Sigizmunda is a humorous name, but funny? Dr. Pinez’s is pronounced “Penis.” Is that funny? It’s as if the protagonist’s name is Sigizmunda, just so we can say the name. And the doctor’s name is Pinez for the sole reason to tell a “penis” joke.

Then there is a quick cut-shot to interrogation-room-style lighting and then another fast cut to Pinez’s response after Sigizmunda’s emotional dump. While it creates a nice visual contrast, it’s not funny. Laughter is not always a sign of comedic success. It’s just the jokes here are not that clever because they are going for a cheap laugh when the joke should be integral to the actual story being told.

Jokes aside, the story also falls flat because the emotional tone falls flat. Ideally, in a short film, tension should start low and build exponentially. For example, open at a level two and build to a nine or ten, then release the pressure for a quick drop back to two. The emotions here start at a four, rise to a six, only to drop back to four. It just doesn’t go high or low enough to be interesting.

I’m Good (2018) Directed by Julia Nejman. Written by Ana Archen, Ydalie Turk. Starring Ana Archen, Esteban de la Isla.

3 out of 10 stars

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