Danel Parquor, Christopher Rourke, Kyle Strang
Everyone has something to say about mega-business, but there are really only two trains of thought on the subject. On one side of the track, people like me have always hated it when people crap on the successful people of the world. From birth, we're all taught by our parents to strive for success and do whatever we can to get rich. We're trained to expand and grow at anything we do. Even Walmart started as a small store on a corner somewhere - so why do we hate people that, through ridiculous hard work and crazy-long hours, through countless hours away from their families and major sacrifices, have become massively successful? Isn't that the goal? Isn't that what we've always been taught to do?
Then you have the other side of the conversation. These companies are too big and take advantage and abuse their employees - and the public in general. While that may be true, you have to ask yourself one question. Whose fault is that really? Is it their fault for using such shady practices to fatten up their bottom line? Again, that's what we're all taught to do. Or... is it our fault for allowing it? We're the ones who continue to line up for employment with these companies. We're the ones who buy from these companies. It's hard to blame a shark for eating the smaller fish when they line up in front of its mouth. Right?
At this point, you may be wondering just what in hell my rant above has to do with this hilarious short film? Well, reader, it has everything to do with it. "Oh Jeff !" is more or less the "funny version" of what I wrote above. It's centered more on the second train of thought, but it's hard not to talk about one side of the argument without hinting at the other. And yet, Christopher Rourke's film makes some really good points along the way. Sometimes growth and greed do get out of hand, and sometimes the big guys should somewhat be responsible and respectful of the human race. The world-class phrase "With great power comes great responsibility" shouldn't be locked solely into the world of comic books. Right?
In case you're wondering, this film's target is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon - and "Oh Jeff !" definitely doesn't pull any punches. The horrible and lately hotly debated company practices of Amazon get top-notch billing in this flick, and "Jeff's" canned responses are hilarious to watch being spewed out in the movie. But not so funny for those that actually have to deal with them, I'm sure. This film starts with a seemingly innocent BBQ until one of our hero's co-workers is fired for sleeping while on his lunch break. Low and behold, they need someone to cover the shift, and it's at this point, the real fun starts. From loads of psychedelic scenes to a "baby Bezos" getting his first 100K loan from his father - I laughed a lot more than I probably should have. However, the entire time, I was aware that the joke was really not all that funny for the people who work at Amazon. Now, reader, I also have to admit that "Oh Jeff !" had a pretty rocky beginning. But by the end of the film, it had accomplished its goal in spades - I was laughing and crying at the same time. Crying because of the truth within this short film, laughing because of the presentation.
So, here's the thing. "Oh Jeff !" is a solid film no matter what side of the tracks you stand on. Even those who think like me can't argue many of the points made in this film. For those who are wary of micro-budget movies, let me just say to give this flick fifteen or twenty minutes. Yes, the beginning is a little hard to get through but once Jeff enters into the fray, things drastically change. I should also mention the really bad but hilarious bald-cap - that alone made this movie well worth it. Rourke's short film is entertaining and funny, and when it's all said and done? That's all that counts. 3.5/5