The things we do for love. In the case of garbage picker and bottle and can recycler Bridge (Brian Barlow), that includes a series of weak attempts to raise money to buy a hideous jean jacket after he sees his crush, waitress Aspen (Deborah Etta Robinson), admiring another man’s jean jacket. Considering Bridge is like the slow-witted love child of Joe Dirt and Napoleon Dynamite, his exploits are challenged at every turn.
Brian Barlow’s short film, Bridge’s New Jacket, is a deadpan helping of awkward hilarity. Whether Bridge is robbing a bully as said bully farts on his face, or unlocking the secrets of life with the help of some raccoon friends, you can’t help but smile at the short’s peculiarity. It’s just weird, but my kind of weird.
Does that weirdness sustain itself over twenty minute of running time? Yes and no. I don’t think the film feels long or meandering, but frankly, and I’ve said it before, over twenty minutes for a short is approaching No Man’s Land for a short film (particularly where fest programming is concerned), unless it is absolutely perfect. I think it works in this case, but if your sense of humor doesn’t gel with the sensibilities on display, then it’s going to seem like an eternity.
Technically the film is more than solid. It has an overall style reminiscent of Napoleon Dynamite and children’s television programming, and the edit rolls out in a straightforward, easy to follow manner. The acting is dry and unemotional, but that’s part of the film’s idiosyncratic charm.
Overall, I really enjoyed Bridge’s New Jacket. I love awkward, dry comedy, and this one delivers. It’s not going to be for everyone, but I could see those who enjoy this type of humor embracing it wholeheartedly.
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