Middle class couple Anna and Jason are just trying to get through morning breakfast when they find themselves in a full-blown argument… and on cable TV’s newest phenomenon.
Director Alan Powell crafts a comedy out of the dynamics of domestic umbrage, taking the petty everyday details of a marital spat to a whole new level. With great wit, the central couple find themselves in a heightened alternate reality, and their argument is broadcast to a live audience on “Domestic Fight TV.”
Each verbal parry and back-handed passive-aggressive remark is given the play-by-play treatment, complete with high-adrenaline graphics and excitable television hosts familiar with anyone who has ever watched sports on TV.
The comedy comes from taking the everyday and mundane and applying the heightened, exaggerated storytelling of sports broadcasting. While it’s funny, the writing is also actually quite emotionally intelligent, charting the subtext of the insecurity and deeply buried resentments that bubble up in between the low blows and insults.
The performances bolster the writing, but are also played for truth and honesty, showing the true costs of arguing to win. Jason and Anna may deliver blows to win, but it costs them love, peace of mind and familial unity.
The result is a short comedy that takes its hilarious, inventive conceit and pushes it into an emotionally genuine direction. “Sunday Punch,” though entertaining and funny, offers an object lesson in love and communication. Arguments are never just about the everyday details that create tension in our lives, but the deep feelings of fear, insecurity and sadness that underlie them — and the sooner we get to that truth, the faster we get into the same boat.