A mother and daughter are having a very bad day in Barry Worthington’s short film, Bummer.
Really, it’s Mother (Marili Mejias) who is having the bad day. After raising her daughter in Maryland for most of her life, mother got a promotion at work that will relocate her to Florida. Daughter (Hope Perry) is not ready to uproot everything she’s familiar with, including friends, family, etc.
Bummer opens well into the road trip south in the middle of nowhere. Daughter is not talking, and Mother is becoming increasingly annoyed at the silent treatment. Mother’s angry tirade is interrupted by a radio message from the President of the United States. The President warns the entire country…pretty much, the world…that in just a few hours, an immensely large asteroid is going to plummet to the Earth and end all life as we know it.
Well, ‘eff it. The asteroid more than ruins Mother’s already bad day, and she unloads on Daughter in a massive self-pitying rant.
“Daughter is not ready to uproot everything she’s familiar with…”
Worthington’s Bummer takes advantage of a story-telling technique that can only be employed by short films, in general. He’s using an over-the-top, fantastical device to heighten the stakes of his character’s conflict. Rather than beating around the bush by trying to figure out Mother’s real feelings about her daughter, writer/director Worthington cuts straight to the chase by introducing an asteroid. Now’s the time for her to just say what she feels.
Put aside the logical reality of a catastrophic situation, which probably involves a lot of panicking and crying. Worthington instead tells a sweet story of a mother and daughter’s broken relationship and the strong bond of family.
He effectively uses his lack of money and resources associated with indie filmmaking by keeping his locations simple—a car and at a park. Most of the story takes place in the car, and the sound and editing are exemplary. He also got lucky finding two good actors to play the lead roles in Marili Mejias and Hope Perry. The thirteen-minute short film is sweet, to the point, and a Bummer that’s worth your time.