NOW ON VIMEO! In Big Break, writer-director Julian Berger taps into that moment of our biggest heartbreak and then walks us through when we can put it behind us and move forward. Austin (Hudson Klass) is an up-and-coming songwriter and artist, but he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life. Thinking it was the right decision for himself personally, he broke up with his girlfriend, Eve (Sage Moore). To compound the problem, Eve was way out of Austin’s league and a bit too quick to agree to the breakup. Now she’s in the arms of another.
Depressed and emotionally paralyzed, Austin exacts his revenge by using spring break to produce an album and enter it in a singing and songwriting competition known as Big Break. His best revenge is to win the contest with a song about Eve. Seeing the project through is his best friend/manager, Palms (Julian Berger), who sequesters Austin at his father’s studio for the proper creative setting. Joining the pair is Palm’s girlfriend, Stella (Marie Zolezzi).
Big Break is a sweet, dramatic comedy about recovering from a devasting breakup; in a way, it feels a bit more like romance rehab. Palms pulls Austin away from his life into seclusion and takes away his phone to subvert any temptation to contact Eve and allow Austin to work out his grief over the failed relationship. For anyone whose ever been through a devasting breakup, you’ll know precisely what Austin is going through. From the start, he sits at the keyboard, banging away and frozen with writer’s block. Out of frustration, he verbally vomits his most insane feelings and wrestles with the guilt of giving up the best thing that ever happened to him.
“…Austin exacts his revenge by using spring break to produce an album and enter it in a singing and songwriting competition known as Big Break.”
At the heart of the story is the relationship between Austin and Palms. Klass and Berger have incredible chemistry together on screen. Their interactions feel very surfacy on screen, but there are layers, like the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and his father. The “goal” of the weekend is to get the album done, but unlike the Wilsons’ toxic relationship, Palms unknowingly walks Austin through the stages of grief. Adding Stella to the mix was a brilliant choice. As the two dudes try to get through Austin’s feelings as only men can, Stella serves as the female perspective, almost Eve’s voice in the situation.
Though listed as a comedy, Big Break is more of a drama with comedic elements. The humor comes through following the trio on the awkward and clumsy road to recovery. None of them know exactly what they’re doing, but they are friends, and a bit of ball-busting ultimately gets personal. Sometimes you have to pull the scabs off to complete the healing process.
All of us can relate to losing love and thus can relate to Big Break. Better yet, Berger’s screenplay is about something we all experience as human beings. With an indie spirit, the film is set in a single location with a cast of three and a story that’s allowed to germinate over its 88-minute runtime. This is an example of insightful storytelling through low-budget independent filmmaking and is worthy of our support.
Big Break is available for screening on Vimeo On Demand.