Every once in a while there is a movie capable of bringing back a flood of teenage memories. Some of these memories are good, some bad, and several are just plain awkward. “I Was a Mathlete Until I Met Margo Marris” brings back all those old feelings and memories, and it is one of the best short films of the year. When I see Andy (Joe Presser) trying to catch the attention of the punk-girl-next-door (Laura Scheinbaum as the title female), I’m transported back to the early ’80s, and I’m trying to talk about something — anything — with Yuri, another punk girl with a thing for cheetah print panties … just like Margo.
This movie is more than a coming-of-age love story. It’s about friends, violence and life in a small hick town, but puppy love is the gas that fuels it. It reminds viewers of how easy it is for a girl to get under your skin and infect you with whatever it is that makes her so damn special. When you’re around her, you feel twelve feet tall while at the same time being invisible to the rest of world, and you have to hand it to writer Joe Meno (who also narrates the tale) for remembering what this was like.
When Andy’s world is forever changed by a girl who insults his values and makes him an accomplice to her shoplifting, we know how good that feels because we’ve all been there. We know how it ends, too, but that’s a little too painful to remember. This movie reminds us, however, that even the bad times — as terrible as they were — were still pretty fun.
A special note needs to be made of the lead actors in this film, too. They are young, but they have their roles nailed. If there is a more believable cast to be put on film this year, I’m not aware of it. Kudos also go out to all the other people involved with this delightful short film. Because of it, I’m spending the rest of the day remembering Dungeons and Dragons, AC/DC and cute punk girls with just the right amount of eye makeup. Man, is there anything better?