Too Darn Hot short film review

★★★★

Directed by: #LiamHead, #MargueriteDuPlessis

Starring: #LiamHead, #CourtneyFisher, #MargueriteDuPlessis

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby



I’ll come straight out and say it: I don’t like #musicals. I just don’t. I don’t dislike a film with song or dance in it, but full-blown #musicals...I just can’t get into them. But with Too Darn Hot, I kind of found myself ‘getting into it’, and I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s because of the beautifully lit visuals, or perhaps it’s because it reminded me of the glamorous and resplendent song-and-dance numbers of the #1950s (a cinematic era that I have a deep fondness for). Whatever the reason, Too Darn Hot is a magical and sumptuous #short #musical piece––and I really liked it.


Plot? Well, a man and woman meet in a bar and dance ensues...is really it. Which brings me straight to my only real problem with the film: put simply, it feels more like an individual scene that should have been built into a larger film, as there isn’t much context here. While character motives are up for interpretation, for me, the actor’s body language and #ThernReynold’s #choreography suggests that this dance represents the reconciling of a couple in an established relationship. Still, Too Darn Hot – like the early song-and-dance numbers of #BingCrosby and #GeneKelly (think Singin’ in the Rain or White Christmas) – is undeniably (re)watchable on its own merits.


Too Darn Hot contains no dialogue of any kind. As such, the cast is required to tell the story and represent the emotions of their characters physically; specifically, through body language and #dance. I’m happy to say that this is hugely successful. And, despite being largely down to the viewer’s reading, never felt too obscure or too confusing. Even if (like me) musicals aren’t your forte. This is partially down to the excellent performances from the film’s cast, and partially down to some superb #choreography; which is as close to character and story writing as a #short #musical piece can get.


The first thing you’re likely to notice, however, is the drop-dead gorgeous #lighting and #visuals. Kyle Head’s (Director of Photography) stellar effort is apparent from the very beginning and only becomes more impressive as the dancing starts. Seemingly shot using only readily available ambient lighting (any studio lighting is at least not pronounced), Head manages to not only adequately light the film but also impact upon the nightclub setting a splendour more befitting that of a #1950s #cabaret show.


You could make the argument – with this being a #musical – that the soundtrack is the single most important element here: if the #music isn’t done right, or doesn’t feel right, the whole film falls apart. And you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Here, the filmmakers have opted for a single song (Too Darn Hot), which I think was absolutely the right decision. And thankfully, it works really well; picking up in tempo as the piece goes on and culminating in a most satisfactory finale.


Too Darn Hot is a wonderfully well put-together piece of nostalgia that evokes the glory days of the song-and-dance number. Its contemporary setting and retro vibe really gel together well, due in no small part to some excellent work by the crew. Visually #gorgeous and with a killer tune to boot, Too Darn Hot is available now on #YouTube.