Charlie (Kevin Brooks) doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to women, but one night, while out at the bar with his friend Rick (Alex Ruiz), Charlie meets Michelle (Heidi Heaslet). Michelle is smart, attractive and the two hit it off immediately, culminating in a night together back at Charlie’s place. The next morning, instead of finding himself in bed with Michelle, Charlie rolls over to find Michael (Steven Sims). Turns out, Michael is the gorgeous Michelle at night, and the beer-guzzling guy’s guy Michael during the day. Can Rick accept Michelle/Michael for who they are, or will this end up as just another failed relationship?
In many ways, Michael Dunker’s Best of Both Worlds is a great example of a narrative that is built perfectly for the short film format. It’s a premise that is executed in the right amount of time that it merits; once we see the situation Rick is in, he has to confront himself regarding the ideas of what is really important to him, and once he does, the film is over. Simple and to the point.
The rub, however, is that for a film as polished and well-paced as this one is, it doesn’t really stick with you after it’s done. If this were baseball, it’s easily an extra base hit that advances a runner for a possible RBI, but it’s not a home run or anything that flashy. It gets the job done, and you can’t really criticize it for that. It just lacks something that would take it from “really good” to “great.”
But I couldn’t tell you what that missing bit is; for me, again, the film takes advantage of the short film format and does its main premise well. The filmmakers show they know how to make a film, the actors handle their roles and the film leaves you feeling content with what you just saw. It doesn’t really challenge you, or make a terribly memorable statement, but it competently delivers.
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