Review: The Gesture and The Word (Short)

Title: The Gesture and The Word
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Helen Alexis Yonov
Starring: James Michael Tyler, Paul Dooley, Roxane Mesquida
Runtime: 22 mins

What It Is: Gilbert (Tyler) is a lonely postman who develops romantic feelings for Eloise (Nicole LaLiberte), a florist on his postal route. Having trouble opening himself up to the possibility of love, Gilbert decides to secretly write postcards to another woman on his route, Aurore (Mesquida), when her boyfriend who is traveling the world stops mailing ones in to her. With the help of Mr. Rostalle (Dooley), a widower and retired poet, Gilbert writes these postcards in an attempt to make Aurore feel loved. In doing so, Gilbert comes to accept his feelings for Eloise and discovers what might make him feel loved himself.

What We Think: For the entirety of this short’s runtime, I was magnificently bored. Maybe I am just a pessimist when it comes to humanity and love but this plot seemed a little too easy. I didn’t sense much conflict at all, though of course there are elements of it, and the ending just didn’t leave me feeling like I had watched much of a story. The plot really was below average. The intersecting storylines between Gilbert’s crush and him writing postcards didn’t intersect all that much and just left me feeling like I was watching two separate stories. Obviously, I’m not a fan of the plot, but my biggest issue with this film is the acting. In short, it was rough. The unfortunate line delivery capitalized the fact that the lines were not great. Perhaps the actors were told to force everything to feel a lot more dramatic than it was. If that’s the case, they excelled with flying colors. To top it all off, the title itself comes from a line in the film that I just know I was supposed to be amazed by. I was not. To be amazed by anything in this film would be nothing short of a miracle.        

Our Grade: D-, I hate to say this, but I can’t think of a single thing that redeems this short in any way. The good news is I didn’t have to waste over an hour watching this film. To play devil’s advocate, the target audience is certainly older people who maybe have a lack of love in their life and need to feel inspired to put themselves out there again. I certainly don’t fall into that demographic so perhaps just take this review with a grain of salt. That way I won’t feel so bad about hating this film through and through.

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Cal Gessner Written by: