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By Timothy Brayton | July 13, 2007

“A Very Sunny Morning” is such a breezy thing with such a laid-back sense of fun that while watching it’s pretty to ignore that nothing actually happens and none of it makes sense. Not so easy to ignore? The incredible amount of padding and repetition it took to boost this thing up to its slender 12 minutes.

Even counting that, it’s impossible to deny that a lot of love went into this project. The opening credits are a brilliant pastiche of 1960s kitsch that only the most sour viewer could find unamusing, and the shot that brings us into the story proper is from the perspective of a plate of eggs; if the notion of an egg POV does not bring at least the ghost of a smile to your face, then you are beyond help.

Following this is a surrealist little tale of Sophie and Jack, a peculiar couple with a sentient television named Dong. This is surrealist after the model of David Lynch (an acknowledged influence) in a particularly frivolous mood, but it’s not very demanding, in a good way: it doesn’t strive to imbue any particular meaning to its weirdness, but just kind of shrugs at the audience, and asks us, “this is sure as hell weird, huh?” To be sure, and it’s affable enough that I could never fault it for that.

But almost every scene goes on for much too long, and the zonked-out tone of the film isn’t enough to justify that. The worst offender is the first scene, in which Jack and Sophie tease each other mercilessly; we get it in seconds, but the moment goes on for more than a minute. Later, there’s a wake-up scene that fits well into the arc of the story, filled with short, shocking cuts that are literally laugh-out-loud funny; but it refuses to end, and sucks all of the energy out of what should otherwise be the film’s highlight.

I don’t mean to slight the film; it’s very fun, and extremely nice to look at – director Eric Cart has a good eye and a remarkable ability to squeeze colorful and memorably absurd images out of what I imagine must have been a fairly tiny budget. But there’s no shame in making a 7 or 8 minute film, and at its current length, “A Very Sunny Morning” undeniably outstays its welcome.

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