Is finding a normal, happy relationship in a sea of narcissistic mayhem still possible? Maurice Mo’ Jones’ feature rom-com, Pretty Crazy, believes there’s still a chance at finding long-lasting love.
Blake (Chris Taylor) is a single guy who just wants to settle down with the right woman. Is that so much to ask? His loving mother (Pat Jordan) and soon-to-be-married brother Clayton (Trevon Townsend) put him under tremendous pressure to seal the deal with anyone. Clayton will not let his best man show up to the wedding alone. Unfortunately for Blake, the dating scene is just a series of disasters, one after the other.
Blake’s first date is with a furry enthusiast. His following date is with a girl who has the unique ability to mangle the English language. But, as fate would have it, Blake runs into Melanie (Corin Clay), a school teacher, who is a bit suspicious of his advances. Instantly smitten, Blake wisely takes things slowly. But Melanie is still not convinced that Blake is different than the other guys. Making matters worse is Blake’s ex-girlfriend Kayleigh (Jasmine Dunlap), who stalks him throughout the film.
“…for Blake, the dating scene is just a series of disasters…”
Including Pretty Crazy, I’ve had a chance to see a fantastic crop of films coming out of Chicago’s indie film scene. Though the film is not perfect and has some noticeable technical issues, this filmmaking community is just a few years away from being an indie powerhouse. Where Jones succeeds is heart. Falling squarely in the romantic comedy realm, the story’s lead characters are tired of hookup culture and struggle to stand out as normal in a sea of craziness. My hope is that natural selection wins out and the normals succeed in finding love and propagating.
Let me give a bit of encouraging criticism. Making movies is difficult, but taking challenges head-on and actually completing one is the only way to move forward. The flaws here are the kind you only discover in post-production when shooting is complete. The most obvious is in the sound. When Blake and Melanie have a final heart-to-heart, you can tell a lot of work went into removing the background noise. Unfortunately, the filmmakers vastly overcorrected and affected the original dialogue.
The other flaw comes in the editing and pacing, particularly in the comedy. The opening of Pretty Crazy is a series of bad dates that Blake endures before ultimately meeting Mel. These humorous bits feel labored and need to be cut tighter in order to flow like a well-told joke. For scenes like these, I always encourage rehearsal as a way to lock down their comedic pace and even find ways to punch up the humor beyond the script.
Aside from these flaws, Pretty Crazy works if you just want to kick back for an evening of light comedy and love. It’s a very light rom-com with the independent spirit behind it. Though not perfect, the future for director Maurice Mo’ Jones and his team looks bright.
For screening information, visit the Pretty Crazy official website.
"…the future for director Maurice Mo' Jones and his team looks bright."