Perfectly Good Moment Image

Perfectly Good Moment

By Chris Esper | April 21, 2023

Relationships contain moments we often will remember forever, moments we treasure. However, what happens when these good moments are not always what they seem? Screenwriters Amanda Jane Stern and Julian Seltzer and director Lauren Greenhall explore this theme in their feature debut, Perfectly Good Moment.

This psychosexual thriller opens at a networking event where businessman David (Stephen Carlile) meets Ruby (Amanda Jane Stern), a young woman working with a tech company. Despite their age difference (34 and 19, respectively), they begin an on-and-off again relationship over the next eight years. During those eight years, they both come to realizations about one another.

David is someone who lives for the perfect moments in a relationship. When they’re disrupted, he goes into a rage. For example, despite Ruby’s reservations, he plans where and when they will get married. He also has planned out when and how many children they will have. Again, she protests this, much to his dismay. On the other hand, Ruby is quiet and does not always speak her mind out of fear of upsetting David. Although, the tables turn during their reunion. Ruby has a plan that will make David see the kind of person he is. Is David truly this controlling, or has Ruby created a false picture of him?

Ruby has a plan that will make David see the kind of person he is.”

Perfectly Good Moment is a very well-crafted thriller that is tightly constructed in its editing and beautifully shot. The picture predominantly takes place in David’s apartment. Despite the single location, there are a lot of creative camera movements that make it appealing to the eyes. The love scenes are also executed and shot tastefully.

Additionally, the duo of Stern and Carlile are fantastic in their portrayals. Both characters are people with dual personalities and are played with great subtlety. As screenwriters, Stern and Seltzer have written a raw and honest thriller about relationships that is refreshing. Furthermore, Greenhall does an excellent job blocking her actors and camera to create a dynamic experience.

There is one area, however, where the film loses me a little. As mentioned earlier, Ruby works for a tech company. Specifically, the company works with augmented reality technology. That element comes into play during the last act. While it is an interesting twist, I found it a little out of left field, even within context. It felt like it belonged in a different story. Fortunately, this twist slowly begins to work in the film’s favor. Perhaps adding more to the narrative about Ruby’s job to build up the twist could have alleviated the jolting effect, especially since it runs only 72 minutes.

Despite the uneven twist, Perfectly Good Moment is an engaging, exciting, and fresh thriller. Again, this film is the feature-length debut of its writers and director. However, there is clear evidence that this is a very talented team. I am curious to see what will happen in their next outing.

Perfectly Good Moment (2023)

Directed: Lauren Greenhall

Written: Amanda Jane Stern, Julian Seltzer

Starring: Stephen Carlile, Amanda Jane Stern, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Perfectly Good Moment Image

"…a very well-crafted thriller…"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon