Do people really rehearse dates in front of the mirror? I ask because it feels a bit too cinema cliché at this point; lazy shorthand for “this person is awkward and nervous.” I get the value of a universally accepted cliché, of course; if a certain action automatically moves the audience to think something, it saves on actually having to do anything to make that point otherwise. And in a short film, maybe I should remove the label of “lazy” and focus in on “efficient” (one of my principle gripes about poor short films is that they’re usually not short at all, so I should be more appreciative of something that works the audience’s expectations in such an efficient manner).
The mirror gazer in this case is Tom (Brad Leaf), a sensitive sort who has a penchant for being the victim of cancelled date after cancelled date. His marijuana-addled friend Sully (Eddie Hargitay) thinks Tom is an easy fix, however. All Tom needs to do is adapt a new life perspective. Next time Tom finds himself in an awkward spot with a woman, instead of a “What would Jesus do?” mentality, Tom should adopt the “hard c**k” way of doing things. Because a hard c**k is infinitely more useful than a floppy c**k.
If your cup is half empty, “hard c**k” could be seen as something aloof and approaching chauvinistic, but from a more positive perspective, it’s all about self-confidence and self-respect. Which, surprise surprise, actually is attractive to the opposite sex and, therefore, Sully’s advice isn’t really all that bad… even if he seems incapable of making his point without repeating “hard c**k” over and over.
Michael Dunker’s Hard isn’t a bad film, and it also isn’t groundbreaking. Brad Leaf and Eddie Hargitay play their roles well, the film looks and sounds good and it doesn’t commit the “too long for its own good” sin. It goes exactly where you think it will go, and does so in a competent manner. It’s comfortable and everyone involved shows that they are capable. If the point is to show that everyone knows how to do their job, then it definitely succeeds; I wanted something more.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.