What if, instead of shaking hands or high-fiving when meeting someone, you tapped or grabbed their genitals instead? This is the main question at the heart of James Ricardo’s short film New Guy in Town, as the titular character (J.C. Maçek III) finds himself on the outs in his new environs because he’s uncomfortable with their way of greeting each other.
At first the film is somewhat funny, because it’s fun to watch uncomfortable and awkward moments on screen, but then you wonder where it’s going, if anywhere. By the time the short hits its resolution, you realize there wasn’t much to it beyond that initial awkwardness and the entire affair becomes one-note. It doesn’t “wow” or leave you laughing, it becomes more or less an “eh, that happened” experience.
To its credit, for a one-note joke, the short at least doesn’t overstay its welcome anymore than Saturday Night Live has been known to do from time to time. Anything longer than 6 minutes would’ve really been pushing it, but this stays tolerable. I just wish there was some sort of punchline, because this is more like a “what if…” scenario with no real pay-off. Yeah, folks grab crotches instead of shake hands. Yeah, that’s weird. Yeah, they think greeting each other any other way is weird. And?
In the end, New Guy in Town is humorous enough in its initial presentation, and therefore passable as a comedic short (that arguably could be even shorter). It’s also pretty forgettable, and not really something worth re-visiting after that first watch.
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