According to the official website of the film “Favors,” director Gary King plans to make a feature-length version of the short. Hopefully he’ll do potential audiences a favor and elaborate on narrative and character motivations. “Favors” is about good friends Piaroni (Tom Biagini) and Ricky (Brian Rivera) and what happens to them in a parking garage. Piaroni and Ricky aren’t hanging out in the garage because it’s fun. They’re there waiting for their friend JJ (Jeremy Koerner). To pass the time, Piaroni and Ricky talk about various things like making fast cash, going to Mexico to start a night club, crooked real estate practices, and having an Asian fetish. Of the topics that come up in their conversation, what’s most interesting is the part about making a lot of money by participating in some kind of activity that is probably illegal or unethical or both. It’s too bad that you don’t learn more about this job.
The film starts with a flash-forward to Ricky pounding someone’s face. When the film rewinds and Ricky and Piaroni are chatting about the money, you wonder if they’re hired killers, drug-smugglers, or freelance criminals who’ll do almost anything for a fat paycheck. Direct answers are not present and the best guess you can make is that Ricky and Piaroni will help out a friend transport goods or hold items for cash. In other words, they’ll do favors for their friend (hence the title). But, who cares? Not only does “Favors” not effectively utilize withheld plot information to pull in your attention, but the actors aren’t charismatic enough to win your emotional investment in their well-being.