Melody (Becky Byers) and Chase (Shiloh Klein) are working on a dance routine, though Melody has found herself in an existential crisis. After an evening spent giving her cat an enema, and dealing with the aftermath, Melody has begun to seriously question her lot in life. Together the two talk it all out while working through their dance.
Adam Bertocci’s short film, The Caddywhompus Years, works thanks to a healthy dose of humorous authenticity. Conversations surrounding the philosophical implications of the dance routine, and the insanity of giving a cat a home enema, somehow make the film feel honest and grounded. I’ll admit I’ve never read much into a dance routine other than “look, dancing,” but I can understand what the two are working through.
And part of that is the universality of the message in the film, the idea that early on in our lives we tend to be off-balance and lost. It might be two dancers in this case, but it could just as easily be anyone trying to support themselves and craft an identity, whether they’re involved in the arts or not. Hence the title of the short.
I think the overall short film succeeds, but it did feel, even at a brief twelve minutes (one minute of which is credits), that it was still maybe a minute too long. Allowing the short to breathe a little does lend itself to the authenticity of this being like a fly on a wall, but it also felt like we were stalling somewhat. Also, some of the dialogue, particularly the explanation of the dance routine in the beginning, comes off as stilted.
Maybe some will find the message heavy-handed by the end, but I enjoyed the experience. We’ve all got, or have had, struggles, so it’s easy to relate. I just hope I never have to give a cat an enema…
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