Fiona Campbell, Ella Exley
The horror stories often associated with the infamous one night stand, are as numerous as they are sometimes hilarious. Generally speaking however, it's the next morning when these comedic and often cringy stories usually get interesting. From the horrified woman telling her friends later, "The guy was brutal and sloppy" to the guy laughing with friends about how he scored - with a woman way out of his league. The scenario and stories are endless - all the way until we come upon Lucy Hunt's short film, "1NS" that throws all the old jokes aside. With a title and premise that is completely deceptive, "1NS" throws away all the cliche and comedy, for a truly interesting romantic piece that only has one glaring fault. It seems to end before its time - then again, that could be considered a big compliment.
As the short film opens, Milo and Jamie are bursting through the doors on their way to the bedroom. At this point, this film seems completely in line with the title - until the pacing changes and we're presented with a morning-after scenario. Things are a little awkward, as can be expected, but so far the idea is simple. Jamie's getting the heck out before Milo wakes up. The proverbial perfect ending to a one night stand - only - things don't quite go as planned. With the buzzing of a phone, Milo is awake and the two realize they technically can't leave Milo's residence. Neither of them.
Forced to keep each other company, the two near-strangers are forced to interact, and slowly, they get to know each other. The hot and heavy passion from the night before is replaced with games and conversation. Essentially, "1NS" is a story told in reverse. Instead of a relationship ending in sex, the sex becomes the catalyst for a relationship - a day date. It's an interesting reversal of a common plot, and one I found way more interesting to watch than I probably should have. I'm guessing however, that most viewers will think the same - and since this short film is under ten minutes long, it doesn't even take a whole lot of commitment to enjoy.
On the technical aspects? Not much to write really. "1NS" takes a very uncomplicated approach to telling its story. No fancy lighting setups or sweeping, complicated shots. No massive amounts of spit and polish, but just enough to get the job done. This is no slight to the film and as a matter of fact? The simple approach actually works really well. Directors Fiona Campbell and Ella Exley have directed a very real production with very real results. This short film feels as if it could really be happening - and the performances from our two leading characters cement that feeling of truth. "1NS" feels more like reality than scripted - and yet it's polished just enough to separate it from your favorite, shaky-cam reality show or film. As I hinted at above, the only thing I wish was present, is a little more story - specifically, more of an ending. It would have been great to have fast-forwarded a few days, or even a week, and learned if Jamie and Milo had ended up on an actual date. Again, more of a compliment than a complaint - but worth pointing out.
"1NS" was a great little diversion with an interesting twist on the classic hookup story. The performances are strong, the visuals, and even the audio was handled well - and honestly... there's not a lot to dislike here. This film will never be confused for a hundred million dollar production, but that's all right - it never claimed to be one. Easy to enjoy and definitely doesn't overstay its welcome - a solid four stars.