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Social Distance

By Bobby LePire | November 17, 2020

Social Distance is set smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, told entirely with video calls (think Zoom, etc., though such names do not appear). Written and directed by B. Luciano Barsuglia, the film could not be any more timely. But timeliness alone does not make a movie good or bad. So, how does the thriller stack up?

Social Distance revolves around six high-ranking Dreamscape executives trying to repair the cruise line company’s reputation. See, three of their ships are in quarantine as the crew and guests caught a new strain of the coronavirus. While this isn’t too damaging to their overall bottom line, it is killing them from a public relations standpoint. Now, it is up to them to navigate a way for the company to not sink into bankruptcy. But, Stork (Jed Rowen), Alexus (Tasha Tacosa), Carol (Christine Ashley McGee), Dave (Sean Patrick McGee), Jess (Rachel Riley), and Nick (Kasey Brown) find as they dive deeper into the cause of the outbreak threatens to drive their entirely destroy their precarious hold on the “new normal.”

“… six high-ranking Dreamscape executives trying to repair the cruise line company’s reputation.”

Barsuglia and the cast made Social Distance while they were quarantining in their respective homes but make the most of the very limited settings, with at least one house doubling as two distinct places. The movie is also a marvel of editing, with all the conversations, side plots, and the like divided amongst several small chat windows. That even the smaller story beats, such as Carol and Dave’s little fights that happen just in view, become a throughline is impressive.

The acting varies a bit, but most everyone is pretty good. Rowen, who was in the brilliant musical The Ghastly Love Of Johnny X, excels as Stork, who is quite prone to conspiracy theories. When he asks what is happening in Antarctica, his frustration and trepidation at what he’ll discover are palpable. As the wannabe influencer and Dreamscape’s social media manager Alexus, Tacosa is kind of annoying. Mind you, the character is meant to be, but even then, she never quite has the chemistry that makes her a believable part of the team.

Social Distance (2020)

Directed and Written: B. Luciano Barsuglia

Starring: Vernon Wells, Jed Rowen, Tasha Tacosa, Christine Ashley McGee, Sean Patrick McGee, Rachel Riley, Kasey Brown, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

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"…made...while they were quarantining in their respective homes..."

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