Thought your last birthday sucked? Well, it’s probably nowhere near as bad as the birthday surprise found here in “Alexandra’s Project”. To put things in perspective, if you spent your birthday alone, curled up in the corner of your bedroom, crying and sucking your thumb, you had a swell time compared to this film’s main character. Tip of the day: Always be considerate of those that love you (unless they’re stalkers) because they have the power to destroy your one special day out of the year more than any old “Over the Hill” t-shirt can.
The film kicks off with a pretty average morning – Steve gets out of bed and prepares to go to work. The difference today is that it’s Steve’s birthday. He receives birthday kisses and hugs from his wife and kids, but at the same time we sense that there’s a little tension between he and his wife. Probably just a little husband and wife strife, right? Sure. But as the morning continues, Steve learns that there will be a birthday surprise waiting for him when he gets home from work later. Steve is mildly curious and the audience is mildly wary. Birthday surprises from someone who’s pissed at you can’t be a good thing and we learn just how not good things can get when Steve finally makes it back home from work.
Now, that’s all I’m going to tell you about the story. The film’s official website and press notes reveal more about what happens to Steve, but to me, that spoils some of the fun. This movie is all about a situation growing worse and worse and the joy (and utter horror) of watching it unfold is not knowing where it’s going to go next. In short, this is a birthday surprise that should be kept as just that, until you’re ready to discover the entire thing for yourself.
And when you do, you’ve got an incredible ride on your hands. Incredible because for a 100 minute movie, “Alexandra’s Project” passes like 30. Incredible also that most of those 100 minutes take place in a single living room. It’s the tension and performances that pull you through, never letting your attention stray from what’s going down on-screen. “Alexandra’s Project” gets an A.