In the typical love story, boy meets girl, chases girl, and eventually gets girl. In the Robert D. Slane re-interpretation, there are two boys, two girls, and only one boy gets the girl. Slane’s award-winning short film “The Fine Line Between Cute & Creepy” follows Chloe (Karen Grosso) and Mary’s (Sabine Singh) experiences with their respective suitors, Taylor (Sal Catalano) and Morgan (Michael Bergin). What’s peculiar about these two guys is that they have the exact same modus operandi: flirt, drop a note, send flowers, and serenade. You’d think that they would both succeed in the love department, but Slane humorously reveals otherwise.
The obstacle to Taylor and Morgan’s achievement is the fine line between the perceptions of a guy’s tokens of affection. A note under the door and flowers on the dashboard might make one woman coo and another one gag. It’s all a matter of how she looks at it…and whether or not she’s influenced by external sources such as her mother.
Slane’s depiction of the fragile boundary between cute and creepy is narratively and visually effective. In addition to the split-screen shots of the men hitting on the women in the same café on the same night, using the same lines, Slane also incorporates subtly different set designs and camerawork for each woman. Chloe’s apartment consists of warmer colored décor and the camera is always still when it shoots her. Mary’s apartment, on the other hand, is cooler and darker. Furthermore, more of Mary’s scenes are shot hand-held. As the camera calls attention to itself and its movements, it creates a sinister tone.
“The Fine Line Between Cute & Creepy” refreshingly re-examines the traditional love story, and in the process it presents the notion that one woman’s beauty is another woman’s brute.