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Going Dutch

average rating is 4 out of 5


Chris Olson


Posted on:

Jul 11, 2024

Film Reviews
Going Dutch
Directed by:
Jack Copland
Written by:
Jack Copland
Jack Copland, Yasmin Behar

Nothing bites quite like heartbreak and when Theo (Jack Copland) feels the fangs of a particularly nasty breakup, he visits his grandparents in Holland looking for a quite place to take the sting out of it. Just as he’s about to fully immerse himself into a wallowing pit of self-despair (drinking a can of beer by himself by the sand dunes), he has a delightful meet-cute with Beatrix (Yasmin Behar) and the pair sojourn to Amsterdam for an incredible first date. Will this be the perfect remedy for Theo’s heartbreak? Or does something else wait in the wings to gut-punch our protagonist yet again?

Copland writes, directs and produces Going Dutch (as well as starring) and it’s clear this wearing of many hats has not diminished the end product, which is a pitfall for many other filmmakers who attempt the same. The film is littered with spectacular filmmaking, such as an aerial shot of Theo walking through a wooded area, or attempting to follow him as he rides his bike towards the dunes, not to mention the excellent montage of the two characters in Amsterdam which could genuinely be on the tourist board website. 

The opening scene of Theo at breakfast with his grandparents is heartwarming and disarming, allowing us quickly into Theo’s situation without overburdening us with exposition. A scene of them at the end of the film is also a particular highlight but there won’t be any spoilers here. 

There is a warmth to the grading of the film which enhances our connection to Theo as a character. As an audience, it feels like we are wrapping him in a safety cocoon until he can emerge back into the world a newer, stronger version. 

For such a short film, Copland utilises locations ambitiously. As mentioned, the filmmaking is not simple static shots setup in the corner of a room. Instead, lots of outdoor locations are used brilliantly and these add a great deal to the nature of Theo’s attempt to journey through his recent relationship rupture. Timing is also crucial in a piece like this and Copland executes the timeline perfectly. We are given just enough of Theo’s despair before the movie shifts into a new genre of romance. There could be an argument that more of Beatrix was needed in the film, a simple scene giving her character a bit more depth. 

The performances of Copland and Behar are excellent, creating a winning chemistry with relative ease. Their initial meeting is tender and fraught with anxiety for both characters and as they strike up an adventure together we see this evolve into a romantic beginning. 

Watch our Video Film Review for Going Dutch on our YouTube channel - Click Here.

About the Film Critic
Chris Olson
Chris Olson
Short Film
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