Written and Directed by: #ToddMontesi
Short film review by: Brian Penn
With a myriad of digital platforms at our fingertips it’s all too easy for hidden gems to slip off the radar. PN and Friends is a classic example of a sleeper that shouldn’t be allowed to get away. It tells the story of eccentric thirty something New Yorker PN (Todd Montesi), making sense of his slightly chaotic existence with friends collected along the way. This particular episode comes from an ongoing YouTube series that began in 2018.
A dose of topicality features with the uncertainty, confusion and fear caused by Covid-19. PN struggles with furlough, face covering and social distancing when everyone else around him seems to have it worked out. Worse still, his misfiring virtual romance with Kenzie (Kenzie Klem) hits the rocks when she moves to Massachusetts. Dixon (Joseph Lewis Dixon) is a supportive though critical friend who gives PN a metaphorical slap when needed. PN’s morale sinks even further when he is ‘released’ by Costco as they no longer need samplers. He agrees to meet Dixon in the park hoping to blow the cobwebs away, but it seems his hopes may be dashed?
The series is shot in semi documentary format and leans heavily towards reality TV, with hand held cameras to capture a spontaneous one take feel. Todd Montesi manages to fill the space with some weird and wonderful characters that will strike a chord with many viewers. Particularly familiar is the C19 warrior who berates people for the slightest indiscretion. There are some delightfully offbeat conversations about embroidery and shea butter as they try to get through the day. A multiple character format does occasionally turn the piece into a sketch show and the narrative is lost. However, a spin through previous episodes may remedy this anomaly. Overall this series has real potential and is worth checking out.