Davy (Evan Johnson) and Chaz (Jayson Jaynes) are not enjoying their late twenties. Despite being almost rail-thin, they’ve both put on a little softness around the middle and are freaking out about it. Soon these “twink has-beens” are going through every method they can think of to rescue their lost six-pack abs and eliminate their practically non-existent love handles in an effort to match up with a body model that may be, to their surprise, almost obsolete.
Andy Bydalek’s short film Skinnyfat is funny and is as much a comment on the image-obsessed as it is about how mercurial things are when it comes to what is attractive and what isn’t. Davy and Chaz are living in the skeletal yesteryear of attractive gay males, and somehow they missed the bus when it came to being able to eat food AND still look good. Sure, six-pack abs are still in, but not because there’s nothing surrounding them. Now it’s about building muscle and definition, something that requires a bit more work than, say, eating only lettuce and ice or going to the park to hula-hoop.
Skinnyfat has a comfortable pace to it, and works just fine at 24 minutes without feeling long. Could it be even shorter? Possibly, but unlike other films that can find themselves too long for their own good, this one is just right. Jayson Jaynes and Evan Johnson play Chaz and Davy with the appropriate level of vapid shallowness, while also allowing for a certain amount of character growth. I mean, for all their “love me for the surface” insanity they do seem to have some standards, eschewing crystal meth and surgery. You’d think that would be a given, but the actors play their roles so well that it seems as much of a revelation to the audience as it does to their characters.
As a fat man in transition (which is to say, an overweight male on a diet), it was fun to watch even the supremely skinny suffer with the same thoughts that has, at times, gone through my head. And the film does work on that surface, humorous level. The real strength of the film, though, is how it handles the idea of weight trends and how they equate to one’s status in society, homosexual or other. It may seem absurd on the surface, but it’s actually extremely on-point.
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