Isn't there just something about a good mugging that presses all the right buttons? Well, perhaps that's not the PC thing to say in the real world, but in Miles Triplett's film "Social," it all sounds just perfect. And just why is that? Because, reader, in this world where pretty much everyone has some kind of issue with the mind, it all just makes perfect sense. In "Social," the world is seemingly populated with individuals suffering from social anxiety, ADD, and possibly even Tourette's syndrome. So... maybe not quite so different then the real world, right? In Triplett's world, however, it's alright to poke some fun at mental illness because underneath the comical scenes and situations; there's the hard truth - mental illness is not funny at all. But using comedy, maybe we can all understand it a little better. Hopefully.
In the film, Gary is a man who suffers severe social anxiety and, being in a new city, is looking for a friend. Not such an easy task when you suffer this particular illness, and in an attempt to get help, Gary hires a therapist to talk with. A therapist who, as luck would have it, likes to keep things very real - and never misses a beat when insulting Gary. But he does offer up some good advice. Just talk to people. With that in mind, Gary attempts conversation with a woman crying on a park bench, Alexis. The first meeting doesn't go so well, and she runs off, but not long after, the two meet up again and begin a "quest" of sorts.
Alexis, surprise surprise, has ADD and has a good idea of what Gary goes through - she agrees to help him find the one person he was always able to be himself around, his ex-girlfriend Kayla. The two begin their search online and eventually end up... well, reader, the real question is where they don't end up. Along the way, they meet numerous people, including the loud and proud fitness instructor Tracey who had me in stitches - and we also learn of a connection between Alexis and Gary's shrink. I don't want to give away all that much of the film, but you can imagine where things are heading. The two main characters are Gary and Alexis - and we all know what happens when two people become close in a romantic comedy. But how do things turn out? How does the search go, why did Kayla and Gary actually break up, and how does it all end? For those answers, you'll simply have to watch. But in a world where everyone seems to be... off, and even your shrink carries a gun, anything can happen. To be clear about the film itself? I loved it!
Honestly? This film should have been called "Finding Kayla." For real. Aside from that? For an indie, low-budget flick, this movie is pretty damn awesome. It's got laughs that, by the end, become more muted and serious. It even has some funny scenes of violence, complete with amusing fight sound effects. But at its heart, this is a film most will be familiar with. A romantic comedy that, despite being a stereotype of the genre, is familiar enough to completely do the trick. "Social" is like comfort food and ends up being surprisingly effective despite its indie roots. I enjoyed the fact that literally, everyone is F'd up in some way, and Triplett's film ends up becoming a romantic comedy for the rest of us. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is socially dominant.
When it's all said and done, "Social" sets out to entertain and does just that. It's well-acted, well-directed, and perfectly comedic. The real message underneath it all is loud and clear, and despite maybe being a little long-running, I had a great time watching this film. Four stars all the way. PS: Loved how the film explains the therapist at the end. Haha!