While out shopping with his girlfriend (Erin Lilley), a man (Khristian Fulmer) catches the fleeting glance of another woman (Melissa Byrd). Momentarily smitten, the man recovers and remembers his plan to surprise his girlfriend with a wedding proposal. While she continues shopping, he sneaks away to get a ring, a sentiment ruined when he catches his girlfriend behaving a bit too friendly with another man. As if things can’t get any worse, a seemingly random red projectile has launched the ring from his hand. Now he’s chasing after the ring and suddenly under attack from a child army of black-and-red clad Cupid commandos.
Thomas Smith’s short film, C.U.P.I.D., is styled as a slapstick silent comedy. Everything has a cartoon vibe to it, and movements, performances and situations are exaggerated. It’s a cute and funny experience, that’s just a little rough around the edges.
The visual effects-work is competent-to-better-than-average, even if things don’t blend quite as seamlessly as you would hope. Again, though, due to the cartoonish nature of the story and style, even the ragged nature of certain effects shots works within the short. Also, since most of the shots in the film are in broad daylight, the footage suffers from the brightness, with skies and backgrounds often being blown out. Likewise too the acting that can seem natural for some and beyond the scope of talent for others. It’s a mixed bag, but slapstick silent comedies often were.
In the end, it’s an entertaining short film with a few laughs. It achieves what it sets out to achieve, playing as a cutesy, slapstick-style silent comedy, but does little more than hit on its simplest of goals. Overall it’s not bad, so while one can pine for a more polished look or feel to the entire film, it still succeeds regardless and is a pleasant watch.
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