Blind Date is the easiest type of movie to review and the hardest to critique. It’s cute, quirky, and wholly unpretentious. The story is taut and the performances are stellar. The film sounds great and looks even better. Even the opening titles are great. There’s very little to pick apart. It was a very enjoyable 24 minutes (I watched it twice).
This seemingly simple story of two people meeting in a pub surprises with its magnetic leads, thoughtful camera movement and it’s avoidance of rom-com clichés. It never goes for cheap laughs but rather opts to deliver genuine comedy instead—novel idea. Blind Date is refreshing. There’s really no better word to describe it.
Abigail Blackmore, the film’s screenwriter, also stars as Rachel, the frazzled single woman who sucks down G&Ts like water. Her performance is wonderful. It takes no more than a moment or two of watching Blackmore on screen to begin understanding her character. She’s nervous, she’s funny, and she’s overcompensating through overconsumption. She’s clumsy and pretty and honest. You get all this before she even meets Steven, played by Cavan Clerkin (TV’s EastEnders). Steven is amused at the disaster on display in front of him and invites her to sit down. While Rachel’s waiting for her blind date to arrive, she and Steven begin one of their own. Their instantaneous chemistry doesn’t seemed forced by plot or time constraints, rather, director Joe Rosen (who co-edited the film with Blackmore) just lets the characters be.
Since its release, Blind Date has been playing the festival circuit—taking home the Austin Film Festival Audience Award. The 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival has selected the short for this year’s program and it’s safe to say that its competition chances are strong.
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