It would be so perfect if James Seda, director of “Strangers,” happened to be listening to “Strangers in the Night” when he was inspired to make his short film. The memorable first few lines of the Frank Sinatra tune are, “strangers in the night exchanging glances/wond’ring in the night/what were the chances we’d be sharing love/before the night was through.” Granted the man (Yuri Lowenthal) and the woman (Tara Platt) in Seda’s short film don’t exactly fall in love, but they do end up in the same bed and do more than ‘sleep’ next to each other.
They’re working well into having a one-night stand when their hip-thrusting stops. No, the condom didn’t break. It disappeared. The man puts his clothes back on and is almost out the door, but the woman won’t let him leave until the latex has been located. When the man suspects that the missing condom didn’t slip off and fall onto the bed or the floor, the film puts a new spin on “casual sex.” The man instructs the woman to lie down so that he can find the condom (he matter-of-factly points out that his fingers are longer than hers). During the retrieval process, the man and the woman engage in small talk to help ease the awkwardness that they should be but don’t appear to be experiencing.
Shot predominantly in close-ups, “Strangers” may make you a bit uncomfortable in that you feel like you’re intruding on something that is, well, very intimate. Fortunately, the man and the woman spend the rest of their night cuddling and talking. When you see where the two met earlier that evening, Sinatra’s voice sounds in your head once more and you can practically hear him say, “something in your eyes was so inviting/something in your smile was so exciting/something in my heart/told me I must have you.”