In a summer where explosions and outlandish action films are a weekly staple, there is something wonderfully refreshing about coming across a film that still values a sharply written script. Take James Sweeney’s hilarious short Normal Doors for example, a film where simple conversation evokes a vibrant portrait of the characters who reside within it. Taking place primarily at an S&M party, the narrative focuses on Todd (Justin Mark), a gay male with OCD, who may have found his soul mate in Rory (Milana Vayntrub), a struggling actress. Created as a pitch/proof of concept for his feature film, Straight Up, Normal Doors is an unconventional love story that is both charming and clever. Sweeney’s script is not only filled with sly pop culture references (e.g. Sliding Doors, Gilmore Girls), but also ponders what if there were no social and/or sexual barriers when it came to love?
While the script is the real star of the film, it must be noted that both Mark and Vayntrub deliver strong performances in the piece. Not only do they hit the comedic beats well, but they manage to make their characters feel natural. Fans of the show Arrow will also be delighted to see Emily Bett Rickards flex her comedic chops in a supporting role. Smart and emotionally honest, Normal Doors is a wonderful short film that will leave audiences eagerly anticipating the release of James Sweeney’s Straight Up.
Director: James Sweeney / USA/ 2015 / 9 Minutes
Starring: Justin Mark, Milana Vayntrub, and Emily Bett Rickards