John Foster (Christopher Dane) is the first man to ever auction himself off online. Describing himself as “a genuine man” and “slightly soiled,” John unknowingly creates a media frenzy outside of his house. He wakes up to one news crew on his porch and watches as more and crews, food trucks, and t-shirt salesmen arrive.
As the auction clock winds down, he has to deal with two women—his nagging wife Lara (Eva Pope) who, understandably, isn’t wild about this whole “human auction” thing and Maia (Jessica Blake), a driven journalist who’s always looking for the most intriguing way to twist a story. When Maia gets wind of a 36-year-old unemployed insurance agent who’s selling himself on the internet, she immediately begins weaseling herself into his home in an attempt to get the exclusive. As the day winds down, John has to decide how he’s going to let this frenzy affect his life, as well as the lives of friends and family.
Commenting on the desperation that comes with economic recessions and the disingenuous ways this desperation is framed by the media, Being Sold is an effective indie dramedy with a lot of heart. All of the lead actors, Christopher Dane, Eva Pope, Jessica Blake, Lee Boardman, among others, deliver solid performances and the second and third-tier actors are all wonderful as well. It was surprising how many of the minor characters deserved their screen time. They were memorable and charismatic and really helped with the community feel that the director was going for.
Director Phil Hawkins should be feeling awfully proud of himself. This feature-length film was shot in two days on a minimal budget. None of that comes through in the final product. This is a professionally shot film with a tight script and strong acting. And it decides on a tone and sticks with it. It’s an enjoyable film that really shows what can be done with a group of hard-working, talented people with a very specific goal.
Also, if you’re interested, there is an hour-long documentary available online which details how a Being Sold was made in just 48 hours. Check both of them out.
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