Friday 22 November 2013

The Prescription (2013)

Director: Sarah Woodward
Stars: Eric Storie and Corina Smith
This film was a submission to one of the IFP Phoenix film challenges in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 submissions.
Director Sarah Woodward and her Untrained Slackers rounded out the last IFP Phoenix film challenge screening with a enjoyably surreal drama centered around a young couple. That was the Beat the Clock challenge and, as if the intervening four months hadn't happened, they would have got to kick off the current one, the Mystery Box challenge, had the programme not been inadvertently changed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's an enjoyably surreal drama centered around a young couple. The key difference is that where the lead couple are confronted with an embarrassing family in It's All Relative, they become the embarrassing family in The Prescription. Another is that each of those embarrassing family members attempted to steal the show from the leads in the last film, Eric Storie clearly succeeding, but here it's the leads who steal the show from everyone else so completely that it's surprising to see sixteen other names in the credits. Eric Storie is one of the leads this time and, frankly, he steals the show from his co-star Corina Smith, who is perhaps even better but less flamboyant.

They're a young couple who are apparently seriously not getting on. As the story begins, he's slamming the door and she's yelling after him. 'You will never last a day in my shoes,' she exclaims. Of course he gets to find out, because she somehow causes them both to change sex, apparently through the online prescription of Dr Mansbach. Storie makes for a bulky and rather awkward woman, especially in high heels, but then I've seen less coordinated women; Corina Smith becomes a dapper man in a suit and tie and with a neat moustache. Off they go to experience life as a member of the opposite sex, discovering the better and the worse as they live similar days separately, and ending up with the merely different. The message is clear and the ending obvious but we have a lot of fun getting there. The best moment belongs to Smith, who provides a gloriously off comment to a little girl on a bench, but Storie plays it up like he's Jim Carrey in drag. I'm looking forward to more of what the Untrained Slackers will get up to.

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