Metro Weekly

Funny Girl

Reel Affirmations 2008

Review by Randy Shulman

Rating: starstarstarstar (4 out of 5)
Wednesday, 10/22/2008, 7:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $10 at 6th & I Synagogue

THIS BATCH OF women’s shorts gets off to a rousing, energized start with Fagette (triangletriangletriangle), a hip-hop music video performed by the gender-deviant Athens Boys Choir. It’s followed by Members Only (triangletriangletriangletriangletriangle), an uproarious short in which a lesbian, new to Philly, is accosted by a salesperson hawking official Gay Cards. It seems silly at first, but then the lesbian, who doesn’t own a cat or partake in organized sports, shouts out in desperation what must be the single funniest line in this year’s festival.

Poppy’s Foursome (triangle) follows comic Poppy Champlain around the Dinah Shore Classic, legendary less these days for golf than for its constant swirl of parties and hordes of girls-seeking-girls, as she tries to find a foursome to hit the links. At 20 minutes, it’s a formless, largely unfunny, self-indulgent exercise. Call it tee-dious.

In another shorts context S/He (triangletriangle) might score better, but this dour drama about a glum Asian girl who longs to look like a boy, and who begs and begs and begs and begs her mother to allow her a short haircut, has no viable place in a collection of comic films, both so-called and otherwise.

The Vicious and the Delicious (triangletriangletriangle) is a silly spoof of soap operas. The Australian comedy gets better as it goes along. Worst Case Scenario: Butch Edition (triangletriangle) offers etiquette tips for butches, and will get some knowing nods, but it’s so slight, you’ll hardly notice it’s there.

The gem of this collection is Casting Pearls (triangletriangletriangletriangletriangle), featuring actress Calpernia Addams (Transamerican Love Story) as she undergoes a series of auditions for roles, some humiliating, some moronic, none especially worthwhile. Brilliantly played by Addams directly into the camera, it is a terrifically funny jab at Hollywood stereotypes.

Crafty (triangletriangletriangletriangle) is a cute, absurd little tale about an activist who will do just about anything to get her ”Equality Right This Very Second!” petition signed. The jokes are a little obvious, but they work. Berated Woman (triangletriangletriangletriangle) is a magnificent short about an Orthodox Jewish woman who secretly pines for her buxom shiksa neighbor, to the point where she allows herself to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Well-directed, nicely played, cute little kicker ending. It all wraps up with Let’s Roll (triangletriangletriangletriangle), a light look at a lesbian couple who have trouble departing for a vacation. Moderately amusing.

Funny Girl
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