FILM INFO: Overworked care assistant Julie believes marriage is the golden ticket to happiness. Yet the likelihood of her narcissistic boyfriend Jim proposing is beyond remote. As yet another Valentine's Day looms, all Julie wants is to keep her head down and get through the day. But that's not going to happen.
WRITTEN BY: Chris Murdoch DIRECTED BY: Chris Murdoch GENRE: Drama TIME: 17 minutes.
Many elements join together to form this particular short film but essentially... it's a revenge flick. Plain and simple. "Valentine's Day" gives us viewers just enough information to actually hate a person, to mask another action that ends up being just as despicable as the person who receives it. You know what? I'm good with that. It's a fiction after all. I don't need to know any more than one simple fact. The bad girl is bad. She deserves what she gets. How or why she became the way she is doesn't matter. Was she abused? Physically, mentally or sexually? It almost seems so considering what happens at the end of the film. Yet that ladies and gents, doesn't matter. Let me just assume she was born an "a-hole" and get on with it. She gets what she deserves and maybe... just maybe... she actually deserves a lot worse and maybe, just maybe again... I've kind of been overthinking things. So let me move on. Julie, our heroine in this short flick, just wants a normal life. To be happy with a man who loves her. During Valentine's day, a series of events occurs that show her the true nature of somebody she thought she loved. Those same events, also provide more rock solid evidence of the character of another. This is all done dramatically and although this title claims itself to be a comedy - drama, I think it's pretty safe for me to write that I found no real comedic elements. This is not a bad thing when you stop to consider one important aspect. The drama is done well. Quite well actually. If you're expecting an indie low budget film that "looks" the part... you won't find it here. Chris Murdoch delivers a short film that looks every bit as good as your standard, decently budgeted studio film. No question. The technical elements of this movie were quite impressive - all things considered. Those internal eyes within my brain always expect an indie film to be technically inferior. I don't mean that as a sleight in any way, lower budget independent films just have that "look" about them. Not the case here. "Valentine's Day" looks great. Excellent camera work with a great eye for editing, all coming together to showcase the great work from the cast themselves. Hmmm... Did I say great work? I meant excellent work. The cast of "Valentine's Day" all did terrific. From the nasty, condescending looks from one, straight through to the "knowing what kind of person you are" looks from another, everyone did great. Conversations about rich guys, flirtatious dialog around a DJ booth... it all comes across as completely legit - not acted at all. Overall? From the leading to the supporting, everyone pulled their weight giving "Valentine's Day" the perfect polish for a well written script. When it's all said and done, I'm generally not a fan of the straight up drama. With this film however, I was forced to concede. A good film is a good film. Period. The story itself is nothing ground breaking. We've seen it before. Here however, it's done well enough, and with an interesting enough setting... that it feels fresh. Small elements like an inappropriate gift make all the difference when telling a believable story. And that ladies and gents is the more important thing. How a film feels as you watch it. Was it entertaining or did it suck? We have a winner with this one. "Valentine's Day" squeaks past that three and a half mark... earning a solid four out of five. In my books anyhow.