Before I begin, let me tell you a story. Rewind five years or so and I’d been going out with Hub for a while; we were enjoying a rare evening in the pub, we’d had a few jars and I suddenly blurted out:
ME: So. Do you love me or what?
Hub goes pale and splutters:
HUB: Define “love”.
ME: You know, spending the rest of your life together, that sort of thing.
HUB: Oh. Yeah, I suppose.
ME: You “suppose”?
HUB: No, I mean I do.
ME: Wow, that’s romantic.
Hub drains the last of Guinness, says hoping it will be the end of the matter:
HUB: I really do?
(You can imagine what the rest of the night turned out like).
But, anyway: this is PRECISELY what I love about THREE LITTLE WORDS, finalist on Virgin Media Shorts, written by Dean Lines and Ray Bogdanovich and directed by Ed Lilly. I don’t believe there’s a woman ALIVE who hasn’t had her hopes and dreams of being *swept off her feet* dashed by the feckless efforts of the male in her life. It’s the cross we bear, girls: society tells us a handsome prince will arrive for us one day… But when he does it turns out he hasn’t even thought about *lurve*: instead, it turns out his “happy ending” involves copious amounts of alcohol and sex – which, though fun for a bit, hardly adds up to FOREVER (perhaps starting off at this mega different footing is why 50% of marriages are DOOMED?! Lol).
But it’s not just the great premise which marks this short out. Three Little Words achieves A LOT in a very short amount of time. The hysterical girlfriend. The commitment-phobe bloke. The philosopher best mate. The contemptuous ex. All rolled up in a neat, well-structured package, appealing to audiences on the basis of the universal problem both men AND women have: we don’t understand each other AT ALL, crucially without becoming a mere sketch, as so many short shorts can.
What’s more, it’s funny. The dialogue is crisp, believable and wry. Characters, though larger than life, are well differentiated and don’t succumb to broadly-drawn stereotypes, again quite a feat for such a short short. My favourite? Gotta be the best mate. He advises his friend on what to do – surprisingly insightfully, in fact – rolling it off with a well-known ad catchphrase. Genius. Coupled with some excellent non-diegetic “cartoon-like” sound, the tone is set perfectly.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch it.
You know you want to.
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