Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 22 minutes
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Jimmy Traynor, the excessively prolific Baltimore filmmaker, has turned out yet another new film. But perhaps it is time for Traynor to take a rest, as his new short film “Driving Sweetheart” is not among his finer efforts.
Greg Cool and Stayc Smith play a married couple spending a quiet weekend afternoon sitting on their porch. She’s always harbored a suspicious notion about the next-door neighbors (Leroy Taylor and Yolanda Jenkins), but he would just as soon mind his own business. But that day, things get a little strange when a weird couple show up at their doorstep insisting that they were invited to a party that was to take place at their address. Even creepier are a pair of hoods who show up looking for the next-door neighbors. Who are these people and why did they suddenly show up all at once?
“Driving Sweetheart” has a great set-up for an exercise in paranoia and fear, but the film’s pacing is too leisurely and the acting is far too casual to build any sense of growing concern and terror. The film takes a surprisingly long time for the plot pieces to begin to connect, and the prolonged build-up is badly filled with mostly tedious small talk among the characters and a shrill volley of tinny insults between the married couple and the odd people who insist there is a party in their home.
In fairness, there is an interesting story in “Driving Sweetheart” which would probably be better served had the film been stretched out beyond its 22-minute running time. As it stands, however, the film feels badly compressed and misses its worthy mark.
Posted on April 19, 2003 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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