I didn't really have high expectations for this one. I can't say why for sure, but I was bracing myself for a below average short film. Maybe it was the lack of media pages? Maybe it was the lack of a trailer to peruse? Whatever the case... man... was I wrong. As much as I hate using the word cute to describe a short film, for once it feels like the perfect word. "Uber Ex" is a cute little film that manages to hit all the right markers. It's eighteen minute length speeds along - and although director Matt Braunsdorf wraps things up nicely - I couldn't help but want a little more.
The concept is simple. A newly budding couple, David and Kate, order up a drive home via their favorite driving service. It's here things pick up, as they are confronted with an ex boyfriend behind the wheel. Making matters worse? The driver, Lev, clearly still has interest in his old flame. And Kate? Quite possibly... yes. This all makes for an uncomfortable drive and since Kate seems to be warming up to her ex, the naturally awkward David begins to strut a little. Who will she choose? You'll have to watch the film to find out.
The setup is handled nicely. A tribute to the writing skills of Jonathan Marballi. David really comes across as a socially awkward guy. We all know the type... a lot of us probably are the type. In many of our minds, a woman like Kate would be out of the question. Out of our league. Attractive. Smart and friendly. The woman who is always taken. Lev, the driver, is literally that guy. Also attractive. Friendly, bold and very fun. Once these two begin talking during the drive, you can't help but feel for poor David. Because you know what's going to happen. As I wrote above, the setup is perfect.
... and that's one of the admirable qualities of this short film. Things don't quite go as you think, but it's a memorable journey - that's for sure. This is all created through David's uncomfortable nature. His attempts to fit in and be, what he thinks, is Lev's equal. The truth of the matter, that underlying aspect, is that Lev is not. Lev hasn't yet reached the point in his life where he's ready to settle down - and David clearly has. Or hopes to. But we've all been there. Trying for the life of us to be someone we're not, in order to impress someone. And yes reader, it's usually just as comic as it is in this movie.
I'm going to keep my technical rant brief. Considering a lot of this film is in a moving car, it actually looks pretty damn good. It's not shaky or jittery - and is visually superior, to the majority of micro budget car interior scenes I've seen. The audio is clear and easily defined... and even the background scoring is mixed in quite nicely. From a production standpoint? "Uber Ex" is a success. No question about that.
Where this film really shines is the casting. I don't know what else to say except the characters feel just perfect. Don't even get me started on that final scene. It was acted out brilliantly. Anxiety alongside a tough decision should always show up on a persons face. Excellent work to the three leading actors. Great job all around.
At the end of the day, as I started this write-up saying, "Uber Ex" was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps I enjoyed it more because I really wasn't expecting what I got. For a quick, comical and yes... cute way to spend the better part of twenty minutes? I totally recommend this short film. A solid three and a half out of five.