Title: Cold War
Director: J. Wilder Konschak, Stirling McLaughlin
Starring: Madeline Walter, Michael Blaiklock, Antoine Pierre
Runtime: 1 hr 36 min
What It Is: Shortly after moving in together, Maggie, a nurse, (Madeline Walter) and John, a graphic designer, (Michael Blaiklock) find themselves already having to weather the worst of each other as they both catch the flu. Delirium ensues.
What We Think: At first it may look (and feel) like a drawn-out college short film, but in actuality, it is a successful romantic comedy that takes advantage of its simple setup with well-written jokes and funny, human characters. Walter is fantastic and a joy to watch in a Liz Lemon-equse performance; following suit, the humor is often dry, awkward, gross, and visual (much like 30 Rock). The story itself is sweet and smartly explores the strange yet common dilemma of couples getting sick together, or rather, the reality of moving in together and having to get intimate with all the ugly, personal stuff—a theme that served as a pleasant and generally well-executed surprise. The overall cast performed effortlessly and the technical elements are sound, though the color palette might be a little too sterile and cold-looking for a comedy (for nit-picky Snobs such as me). As the duration endures, you eventually figure out their scene formula, making the watch a little more monotonous and predictable as it feels like they drag on longer than what is necessary for lengthy exchanges between characters. On top of that, the third act is littered with uncomfortable moments that, at times, are silly and painful to watch past the point of comedy. Nonetheless, as a whole, it is an effective flick.
Our Grade: B-, Cold War is a cute, tongue-in-cheek situational comedy with well-rounded characters and well-rounded people working from behind the scenes. It’s something to definitely be enjoyed if not for the repetition in the later acts. In the least, it made me laugh out loud more than most mainstream comedies ever have, and that in itself is an incredible feat. (Keeping count, I laughed at least eleven times.)