Perfect Strangers short film review

Updated: Feb 1

★★★★

Directed by: Ana Barredo

Written by: Ana Barredo

Starring: Rhandy Torres, Noreen Lanie

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Movie Poster for Perfect Strangers

A man and a woman begin a distant relationship during COVID-19 lockdown.


The coronavirus is spreading in the United States and two people are in quarantine, by themselves. The man's name is Rommel (Torres) and the woman's name is Julie (Lanie). They meet through an online dating site and communicate with each other over the phone and online. They chat, play online games and generally get to know each other. They discover that they have many things in common. When the lockdown restrictions are eased, they decide to finally meet for a meal. They then discover that they might not be perfect for each other.


The film begins by showing the two protagonists' daily routine before they begin their online relationship. Via split screen editing, they are shown simultaneously as they clean their home, take care of their dogs, make their drink and socialize online. During split screen, the man is constantly on the left image and the woman is on the right. After they begin their distant interactions, they continually pick up more and more facts and interests that they share.


Although the story is set during an outbreak, the tone of this short romantic drama is uplifting. The two main characters are likeable and cheerful. They smile, laugh and enjoy each other's company (as much as they can do so during lockdown). The music by Brandon Moore is rather merry, highlighting the relationship that is developing.


The film utilizes interesting editing techniques. As mentioned, there is split screen and parallel editing is also used to great effect. The filmmakers also use black screens with nondiegetic letters, in order to reveal the week of the lockdown.


The film of course does not ignore the danger of the virus. There is the voice-over of journalists as they announce the escalating infections across the U.S. This is a romance that takes place during a pandemic. It is a story that suggests that the coronavirus has not eliminated the good that exists in this world. There is plenty of happiness in the narrative, although the ending is rather surprising and dispiriting.

#JasonKnight