Sometimes things can get awkward when a roommate brings a significant other into the picture, but it probably isn’t as uncomfortable as what happens to the two roommates at the center of the short film Love You Tyler. Writer and co-director Devon Diffenderfer stars as Luke, and Ryan Pater is Tyler, his roommate. They have been living together for a decent amount of time and have grown pretty close.
One night, Luke reveals that he has met a woman and plans to propose even though it has only been two weeks. Tyler thinks he is crazy (as he should) but wants to be a good friend and give his support. Luke then asks if he can practice the proposal on Tyler. After the practice proposal, Luke takes it a step further and goes in for a kiss. Tyler freaks out, believing that his kind gesture and being a good sport about this have led up to this awkward moment. In fact, this scenario goes so overboard that Luke asks Tyler to move out. Things only get more uncomfortable for the two as the 9-minute runtime ticks on by.
“…Luke takes it a step further and goes in for a kiss. Tyler freaks out…”
At the beginning of the film, Luke is harnessing his chi, if you will. In terms of composition and style, this particular scene appears as if it were shot differently than the rest of the film. And that could very well be the case because Love You Tyler is co-directed by Ari Itkin and Diffenderfer. This is not something that takes away anything from the film, but it did catch my attention.
To highlight how the two characters are not on the same page for much of the film, the actors are almost never shown in the frame at the same time until much later on. Diffenderfer and Pater are always walking past each other to the other side of the screen, rarely sharing the same space. It works for both story and thematic purposes and helps the emotional core of the film resonate as well as it does.
Love You Tyler is not a buddy film, nor is it a bromance story. It’s something more with complex layers that make every second interesting. The film is complex enough to leave viewers unsure where the film is going while still telling a cohesive and engaging (no pun intended) story. It is funny, a bit sad, and even ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving the audience eager to see Luke and Tyler’s story all the way through. I can easily imagine and would like to watch a feature film made from this plot.
"…not a buddy film, nor is it a bromance story. It's something more..."