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By Michael McNeely | March 24, 2021

Committed is let down by a lack of character development or moral reckoning on the part of the two seemingly sociopathic best friends of a would-be married couple. In this short film, Calvin (Colin Buckingham) plans to propose to his girlfriend, Leesa (Jaleesa Graham), but her best friend, Rebecca (Rachel Handler), is having none of it. Enlisting Calvin’s friend Dennis (Damond McFarland) into the scheme, this clearly mentally unwell person leads a coup to derail the marriage proposal. Why? Because Rebecca is afraid that upon getting married, the couple will leave their circle of friends by moving far away.

While that may be a reasonable concern, Rebecca’s reaction/plan is absolutely not, and the screenplay by Kara Moulter, Melanie Waldman, and Rachel Handler (who co-directed alongside Crystal Arnette) fails to follow through on its offputting premise. Be warned, in order to properly understand the problems with Committed, I will be spoiling the ending. All of a sudden, the best friend simply drops her plan of ruining the proposal and accepts the seemingly inevitable conclusion of the movie’s title. The conflict that drives the actions of all the characters is simply left unresolved.

“…Rebecca…enlisting Calvin’s friend Dennis…leads a coup to derail the marriage proposal.”

This means that the couple’s happy resolution is actually not one. The malicious actions of the best friends and how said actions fracture these relationships are never addressed. The story simply drops the matter altogether, meaning that everything that happened was a pointless waste of time. While it is important to have complex characters with disabilities in stories, it is still necessary to hold them to some sort of arc or have them develop during the narrative. It is equally important for there to be closure for the audience. Viewers should feel like the story they just sat through had a purpose.

Maybe it was a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen, with its two directors and three screenwriters, I don’t know. What I do know is that Committed fails at both of those tasks in a monumental way.

Committed (2021)

Directed: Crystal Arnette, Rachel Handler

Written: Rachel Handler, Kara Moulter, Melanie Waldman

Starring: Colin Buckingham, Jaleesa Graham, Rachel Handler, Damond McFarland, Melanie Waldman, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

Committed Image

"…it is important to have complex characters with disabilities in stories..."

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