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average rating is 3 out of 5


Chris Buick


Posted on:

Apr 25, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Katie Parker
Written by:
Katie Parker
Benjamin Stubbs, Jacob Taylor

Writer/director Katie Parker’s warm and endearing short Company tells the story of James (Stubbs) who has been spending the last six months mourning a failed relationship. Now, although initially tentative, James is beginning to work towards putting himself out there again and perhaps embracing the possibility of a new connection with Simon (Taylor).


Company doesn’t exactly plunge the depths in terms of character or plot, it never really throws up any surprises or dramas or gives you anything you’re unlikely to have seen before. We see James moping alone to himself at home, reading self-help books and looking forlorn at the idea of finding love, brushing off blind dates and setups from friends while also getting to grips with dating in the digital age via all the apps and profiles etc.


So no, it’s nothing new in that regard, but it's a film that ultimately just wants you to take away a feeling rather than any particular answers or new revelations; its journey rather than its destination is what's important and when all is said and done, Company leaves you brimming with a very warming sensation of optimism. And just to be clear, Parker’s film tells its story completely and elegantly, and James’s story is a representation of universal feeling, of isolation, apprehension and desire.


No, it’s not a unique story, but that’s why it works, it’s utterly relatable, and will undoubtedly touch your heart. Watching the growth in James, who goes from acting like an awkward teenager running away from Simon in the park, to eventually trying to work himself up to face that terror, him taking that first step in finally opening up to the idea of allowing this connection with Simon is something we can all relate to, and the way this slowly blossoming romance starting with casual glances and one-word exchanges becomes something more will have you rooting for them all the way. It’s also a story that is presented so visually well that even with minimal dialogue, everything that needs to be conveyed is, and in fact, the film probably could have done it all with no dialogue at all. Of course, it does always help to have an actor that is able to be as expressive as Stubbs is here, with the talent to cycle through and fully portray loneliness, hope, anxiety and fear in equal measure.


It's simple but ultimately charming, heartwarming and uplifting. Company is a beautiful story about connection and getting back out there and taking happiness in your own hands.

About the Film Critic
Chris Buick
Chris Buick
LGBTQ+, Short Film
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