Also Patrick

Shy teenager Patrick attempts to overcome his insecurities and make a move on his crush at a party.

Genre: Drama

Length: 17:17

Free To View

2.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Ryan Jamison, Josh Goodman

Director/s : Ryan Jamison, 

Writer/s : Ryan Jamison, 

Actor/s : Ryan Jamison, 

 

Awkward teenage blues

Patrick is the shy one of the group of youths setting out to a party: an also ran in the teenage stakes.  He drinks alone until Anita, the girl he fancies, finally comes to talk to him… but she’s only asking advice on how to get close to his friend.

So he gets even more drunk. Then, driven by envy, does something really shitty that turns out to make him a hero.

The main reason this doesn’t quite work is in the storytelling. It sets up a question: how can Patrick overcome his shyness to get the girl? We root for him, and we think we’re in awkward teen romcom territory. Then, when he does the bad thing, he loses our sympathy. More to the point, the story doesn’t answer its own question, but moves on to another: how will he deal with the fact that he’s done something shameful, yet which boosted his status in the eyes of the girls in his peer group (but not Anita). We’re actually at the start of a new story. And then it ends.

To pull off such an anti-structure, and the change of tone from romcom to dark existential drama, would challenge to any writer-director. Credit to film student Ryan Jamison for his ambition. He also plays Patrick, and shows his journey from shyness to drunkenness to existential torment superbly, like Adam Sandler when he was good.

As a director, he could have done more to put us with Patrick by showing his point of view in the opening scene. The sound quality here isn’t up to the mark, but the camerawork, lighting and acting is excellent. Jamison will do better work behind the camera, but maybe his future lies in front of it.

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