There are so many things to like about Andrew Putschoegl’s “Hello Caller.” First and foremost there is the writing and performance by everyone’s favorite nerd from the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Tom Lenk. Utilizing – with a twist – his confusingly feminine and yet kind of sexy performance style, Lenk creates a ridiculous help hotline employee who seems intent on annoying the suicidal urges right out of a person. Like his character Andrew in “Buffy,” in this short film Lenk is again overly confident, stubborn, and yet endearing, making these few very short minutes of film memorable.
But Lenk’s performance doesn’t stand alone. Playing opposite him is Tara Karsian, a sad sack of a woman who’s determined to feel sorry for herself. Playing a bit of the straight man, Karsian bounces off Lenk’s lines with skepticism, making the plot believable and heartfelt.
The film is the perfect length, perfect tone, and has a wonderful surprise ending. In short, I loved it. Even the poster art is adorable.
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