Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s we’re taking a weekly look at some of some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Megan McDonnell and Ben Smith’s not quite romantic comedy Meet Cute.
The Plot: Nick and Dani’s ‘meet cute’ moment is the stuff of romantic comedy … right up until it isn’t.
Of all the genres being cranked out by the so-called ‘Hollywood dream machine’, the romantic comedy is the one most in need of a shot in the arm … or the heart, if you will. Over the years, the genre has become stale, predictable and all too business-like. But once in a blue moon, a sharp little rom-com turns up to remind us that the genre can still be romantic … and funny. Megan McDonnell and Ben Smith’s Meet Cute happens to be one of them.
Unfolding over a single night, the film is centered around the titular moment between Nick (Jon Bass) and Dani (Juno Temple). After some initial awkwardness, the pair pass their night by trading tales of life and love and … all the rest of it. Over the course of the evening, they forge a definite romantic bond. One that’s only undone by one of those “rom-com” misunderstandings that flip the night from the dawn of romantic infatuation to, well, something else entirely.
Like the best of romantic comedies, Meet Cute is not so much about the moment that changes things than it is about building up to it. McDonnell and Smith take their sweet time – about 20 of the film’s 24 minutes, in fact – getting there. The good news is that the payoff is well worth the wait. And that the buildup itself is the very definition of charming.
That has a lot to do with a sharp, frequently laugh-out-loud screenplay from Ben Smith. But much of the film’s charm stems from the work of stars Juno Temple and Jon Bass whose quippy banter and intoxicating energy give a refreshing dimension to not just their characters but the story itself. McDonnell and Smith make the most of that energy, guiding the action with a cool, easy grace. They give their film a distinctive look and sound behind the work of Cinematographer Hanna Kitasei and Composer Ben Moss. And they bring all of those elements together to make Meet Cute one of the smartest, funniest rom-coms you’re likely to see this year … 0r any other for that matter.
Meet The Crew:
Directed by: Megan McDonnell and Ben Smith Written by: Ben Smith Starring: Juno Temple and Jon Bass Cinematography by: Hanna Kitasei Edited by: Matthew Diezel Music by: Ben Moss
We hope you enjoy Meet Cute! Look, the romantic comedy is not what it used to be. Save for this year’s marvelous The Big Sick, it’s been a while since a rom-com came along and caught us off guard. We’re more than happy to admit Meet Cute managed just that. With any luck the film’s co-directors Megan McDonnell and Ben Smith will put their heads together for a Meet Cute followup asap. And hopefully, they’ll find a way to get Juno Temple and Jon Bass on board as well, ’cause the pair’s chemistry is downright contagious.
While we’re waiting to find out what the Meet Cute crew will do next, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – team Vimeo has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop ormobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across your new favorite filmmaker.