Jeff (Manny Belliard) and Syl (Jeanette Berman) have an unconventional friendship. She’s suicidal, and he’s a cannibal. But he’s not your typical horror movie monster. He’s not stalking teenagers in a dilapidated house with power tools to feed his insane (and possibly inbred) family. No, he only wants to eat people with whom he has formed a close emotional bond. So, before he consents to murder and eat her, first he has to get to know her. And thus we have the premise of Ricardo Lorenzo’s strange offering An Unlikely Story.
With its light tone and black humor, An Unlikely Story shares some DNA with classics like Harold and Maude or The Odd Job. At its heart, it is a story about two lonely people trying to stop their pain. How they go about it is where they differ. Jeff wants to fill his life (and belly) with people, while Syl just wants it all to end.
“…before he consents to murder and eat her, first he has to get to know her.”
Even though the premise of An Unlikely Story is that he wants to get to know her as a person, we don’t really get to know either of them. Things are kept light, breezy, and superficial. We see them window shopping, talking about movies, getting high, and discussing ways to prepare humans. At first, this is cute but we never get a sense of who the characters are as people. So when Syl finally snaps and confronts Jeff demanding that he just end her life, the action doesn’t feel motivated by anything other than we’re in the third act.
And then there is the acting. I understand with micro-budget projects you have to make do with what you can get. Grading on a curve, the acting in An Unlikely Story is passable. They convey what they need to in the scene, but no one is winning any awards from this. We aren’t given a sense of any life outside the scene, but then the script doesn’t give them much to work with.
"…shares some DNA with classics like Harold and Maude or The Odd Job..."