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This is a side note to big budget romantic comedies that are in favor
of pumping up the idiocy and the incredulity in their scripts. Instead
of being a mawkish and gooey portrayal of modern relationships, The
Pill is another romantic comedy exploring the dangers and the
repercussions of having a one night stand. This topic was also explored
in Katie Astelon's directorial effort The Freebie in 2010, a rather
ho-hum and middling effort in the area of infidelity. It seems The Pill
has simple kinks ironed out more efficiently.
We are instantly introduced to Fred (Bean), a writer who despite having
a tolerable relationship, seeks to have a one night stand with a woman
he recently met while his girlfriend is on a trip. Fred hooks up with
Mindy (Boston), a quirky, Zooey Deschanel-like woman, full of
complexities and eccentricities. After having unprotected sex so
quaintly, Fred foolishly assumes that Mindy is on the pill, when she is
not. Stressed out and, after a hasty conversation involving ethics
dictated by religion, Fred goes out to buy her the morning-after pill.
After she takes the one, Fred neglects to remember that the
morning-after pill is two pills, one for as soon as intercourse is over
and the other twelve hours later. Since Mindy was so troubled by taking
the one, getting her to take the other seems like a mission impossible.
Knowing that she is not the most trustworthy person, Fred winds up
sticking around with Mindy for the next twelve hours to assure that she
will take the pill. Inevitably, they become closer, but Fred also must
remember the budding quandary he is facing with his current girlfriend,
Nelly (Anna Chlumsky, the My Girl actress), a pushy, vindictive soul.
One of the film's funniest and brightest scenarios is when Mindy
invites Fred over to her parents' house to celebrate her younger
brother's birthday. Immediately, Fred has a contentious relationship
with Mindy's father, who believes that he is unwise for not having a
backup plan in case journalism fails him.
The Pill manages to do quite a few things right with its very concise
runtime. It introduces us to three characters, whose lives will
eventually change because of this seemingly innocuous one night stand.
It also does the best to make the Fred character, a person who
initially wouldn't be a smart choice to make the leading man because of
his indecisive personality and rather unlikable first impression, into
a relatable man we can feel for, while also projecting life into the
other two women in the film. As for the "comedy" in the term "romantic
comedy," it is mainly deadpan wit that audiences may or may not
collectively resonate with. Exposure to programs like The Office or
Curb Your Enthusiasm, because of the quirky scenarios that inevitably
erect a domino effect, could possibly help. Or just an open mind, with
a craving for difference.
Director J.C. Khoury does a lot of great things with his first feature
film, one of which is making the film avoid romantic comedy pitfalls
such as glossy sentimentality, hardcore romanticism, and cinematic
clichés, and also doesn't go for the extreme indie mumblecore style
that could propel into heavy-handedness. This is simply a well made
romantic comedy, sharp, lively, and full of enigma that will easily
resonate with the audience and provide a healthy discussion afterwards.
Starring: Noah Bean, Rachel Boston, and Anna Chulmsky. Directed by:
Tags for The Pill Full Movie
, Jean Brassard
, Noah Bean
, Rachel Boston
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