11 Jun 2022
Chris Young, Lubna Kerr, William Samson
‘Love is a whirlwind. Even when it’s stationary.’
Of all the romantic comedies that you expected to watch this year, an office worker’s turbulent love affair with his stapler may not have been on the list. Written and directed by Matthew Thomson, Attachment is a short film that charts the unexpected romance between the lonely Michael and his stapler, so-called Louise. This brief encounter is an inventive, yet strange, film as it takes a very unique approach in highlighting one man’s desperation for attention and a simple love connection.
Michael, a lowly office worker, is under-valued at work and unappreciated by his colleagues as no one has much time for him. Isolated and borderline creepy, he does not fit in. We end up feeling sorry for him, as he clearly struggles with feeling isolated and not knowing how to interact well with others. A lack of opportunities to actually talk to people is a difficulty he experiences the most, a reality that many may find themselves in today with more remote working jobs that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided. But the, Michael encounters Louise for the first time and everything slowly begins to change.
Once a woman about the office, Louise succumbed to a devastating – yet confusing – fate and finds herself eternally trapped in a stapler. She begins to speak to Michael and is surprised that he is able to hear her, which provokes an instant connection. The plot itself is bizarre as man and stapler fall in love with each other in a twisted and obscure way, as romantic montages fill the screen. It is pretty uncomfortable to watch this man connect with an object, but also absolutely hilarious. What makes the film even more obscure is the animated face that is placed onto the stapler which is very weird to look at.
Script-wise, comedy overrules the short film mostly due to the strangeness of the storyline and how Michael’s colleagues genuinely believe he is crazy. Attachment is conceptually a very inventive short film – albeit a bit odd. Perhaps it is a commentary on how society now makes it difficult for us to connect with others. If this is the case, a man’s affection for a stapler is certainly an interesting way to portray this. However, it is clear that this film is not designed to be taken too seriously. Its overall comedic tone overrides all expectations.
If you are looking to watch something a little bit different, you may be pleasantly surprised by this film. Not quite sure I can look at a stapler in the same way again, but maybe that was Thomson's intention.