Directed by: #JamesDann
Written by: James Dann
“Do you eat in the can'teen or the canteen?”
That is the question posed to central character Alan (Matt Aistrup) in James Dann's short film The C Word. And no, this is not a movie about gastro locations or eating disorders. Instead, the C stands for commitment, something which Alan struggles very much with.
Over the course of the #shortfilm we learn that Alan is engaging in group therapy in order to overcome his fear and anxiety of tying himself into things, such as relationships or monthly charity donations. With the help of supportive sufferers, sea monkeys, and a toe-tapping montage, Alan looks to be on the right course to committing in no time.
Told with a delicious sense of humour and sharp cutaway sequences that had me in stitches, The C Word is a painfully funny exploration of the uncomitting man. There are gags aplenty, strewn across a landscape of moving and heartwarming moments that balance brilliantly, allowing the comedy to be more effective because the themes are genuine.
Aistrup in the leading role is wonderful, reminiscent of a young Simon Pegg. The actor throws himself into the scenes and (ironically) fully commits to the gag or moment, such as enthusiastically hugging a charity worker in euphoria or devastatingly hugging a man in boxer shorts in tragedy. This will make little sense until you see the film, which I wholeheartedly suggest you do.
The production value is low yet effective. Lots of locations are used to great effect and there are some lovely moments of pathos and tension. The opening scene of crossing a road is particularly well delivered, with arguably the funniest line of the short film involving a boy named Camembert. Still cracks me up. There is also a lovely sequence where Alan travels the streets with a song playing by Joe Knowles and Grace Johnston in the background, terrifically capturing the transition occurring for Alan at that moment.
Aside from a few thinner moments in the storyline that could have been further developed, The C Word is a moving and hilarious film. Dann proves himself capable of balancing big laughs with big tears, a commendable feat that has the audiences fully...ahem...committed to the story in no time.
Now, come along Camembert.