3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 16 minutes
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On the day of Della’s wedding, her best friend Rayanne “accidentally” kills her Groom-to-be, Charlie, by stabbing him in the gut with a cake knife. Charlie isn’t Della’s first fiancé killed by Rayanne on their wedding day. He’s the sixth. Or is it seventh? They’ve lost track by this point. Della’s furious at Rayanne for continuing this cycle, while Rayanne, ever cheerful, apologizes profusely and blames her homicidal spree on circumstances and freak accidents.

There’s something more to “Ugly on the Inside” than the quirky comedy that appears on the surface. This is a film about the choices we make and the cycles we fall into. It is an ode to friendship and the things we do for our friends when they are too diluted to realize the love the have comes at costs that they might not be willing to pay.

The production quality is surprisingly high here. Shot in 2.35:1 widescreen, the filmmakers exploit the width of the frame without cluttering it and there appears to be a vague Sergio Leone influence in the way this short was shot. The acting is strong, definitely higher and more professional than most short films. We feel these characters’ quirks and dilemmas and, in the time allotted, really get a sense of who they are.

“Ugly on the Inside” is that rare short that follows through on its premise, maintains a tone equal to its subject matter—where most shorts fail to find a balance between the two—and, in the end, feels closer to a mini-movie than a short film.

Posted on August 1, 2005 in Reviews by

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