Paul (Scott Organ) and Kate (Caitlin Miller) are anxious about their night out at Ellen and Tom’s. Ellen (Abigail Marlowe) and Tom (Roderick Hill) are the charming, sophisticated couple that everyone seems to adore, and Paul and Kate want to be equally as loved, especially by Ellen and Tom. Everything falls apart, however, when Paul and Kate arrive to see another couple, Stephen (Tom Meetan) and Lydia (Lydia Leonard), are already there. Cultured and gifted with exotic accents, Stephen and Lydia appear to be the frontrunners for Ellen and Tom’s affections, and Paul and Kate do their best to not look silly in contrast. Which, inevitably, is precisely what happens.
Playdate is a hilarious short film filled with awkward moments and social faux pas that underline why I hate dinner parties. What starts out as a simple evening get-together turns into a graceless adventure for our out-classed and out-cultured couple. And just when things hit their absurd peak, the film wraps up (oddly enough, right about the time I too would abandon a dinner party like the one depicted, if I hadn’t already bailed).
It’s a fun depiction of a horrible evening that we, the audience, get to enjoy for all its stumbling charm, and as a short film it delivers the goods and then wraps up in perfect fashion. It’d be easy for the joke to get stale, even at such a short length, but the filmmakers smartly escalate the uncomfortable at just the right pace so that it stays fresh. By the time it was over, I found myself sharing the same sentiments as Paul and Kate, justified or not.
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