Directed by Cole Jeager
Starring Cole Jeager, Timothy J. Cox, Scott Schuler
Short Film Review by Monica Jowett
Wacky short film The Best Birthday Ever tells the tale of childhood joy. Written and directed by Cole Jeager, it follows Dimpton who is reliving his best birthday, which he celebrated along with his dad and uncle. The strange thing? Dimpton is not a child, but actually a young adult.
Using a crayon-illustrated story book as a framing device, we see a young man on the cusp of becoming a grown-up, experience a birthday befitting of a 5 year old.
Dimpton (Jeager) starts out by looking back at the memories of the day, which begins with McNuggets, then onto the playground and later the beach. Accompanying him on his birthday are Father Bo (Timothy J. Cox) and Uncle Bib (Scott Schuler) who argue about politics, with Dimpton having very little clue what it’s about.
This background talk of politics, and the hilarious line about it possibly being Obama’s fault, seem to indicate a deeper meaning within the five minute film, of the Republicans (Bo) and the Democrats (Bib) fighting, and not taking much notice of what the people (Dimpton) really want. In the setting of a child’s birthday, albeit an adult pretending to be a child, this message seems to hit harder.
However, this is a comedy and more than anything, makes fun of politics, in a rather abstract way. And if it was not Jeager’s aim to poke fun, he does make an interesting comment on American politics, which could be applied to many other places around the world.
In the same way the film is framed by a story, hand drawn by a child, and narrated by a man-child, the editing takes on a childish effect. This can be seen when Dimpton is imagining what his presents could be: the ideas appear around him like a badly put together meme. While in another short film, this could appear too amateur, The Best Birthday Ever uses this editing technique to its advantage, furthering the innocent storytelling style.
While on paper, this might not sound like the best short film ever, this goofball, totally zany comedy, The Best Birthday Ever may leave you scratching your head, but it will also leave you with a big grin on your face.