Don’t Tell Larry

By Greg Porper and John Schimke | Comedy
A little office gossip never hurt anyone... until now.

Patrick and Susan, two co-workers at an office, try to keep their upcoming party a secret when they discover they’ve forgotten to invite their co-worker Larry, who has “severe anger issues.”

But instead of inviting him, they decide to keep their secret to themselves, making for a tense work week, complete with random drug tests and bickering over food and questionable drinks in the communal fridge. Throw in Larry’s cheating fiancee and a dying grandma, and the trouble-making duo may have created themselves a powder keg that could ignite any moment.

Writer-directorsGreg Porper and John Schimke’s short workplace comedy has a scattershot energy, stuffed with hilarious, sometimes digressive repartee and a screwball rhythm. But instead of constantly escalating circumstances and situations that characterize screwball comedy, the dynamic shifts here come from the interactions between the constantly bantering and rascally duo and their increasingly unhinged co-worker Larry.

The most dramatic events happen offscreen — which is a pity, because they sound ridiculously over-the-top — but the emotional fallout happens at the office, where gossip circulates like a bad cold in winter. The co-worker pair at the center of the film cover up their subterfuge with a flurry of excuses, verbal diversions and flat-out lies, but they find themselves weaving an increasingly complex trap for themselves.

The short shines with its dynamic fusion of terrifically paced performance and dialogue, which bounces from eccentricity to eccentricity with verve and a bit of a wink. Fans of comedies like “The Office” will appreciate the banter and verbal dexterity, as well as those tiny reaction shots where people pretend to overlook their more unstable colleagues’ behavior and antics. The short may not quite pay off its central conflict, but it offers an amusingly dramatic build-up, the pleasure of crackling wit and self-aware ludicrous twists and turns.

The workplace comedy has a hallowed place in the genre, where offices often throw conflicting personalities together in close proximity, forming a pressure-cooker situation that fizzles and pops in often unexpected ways. “Don’t Tell Larry” sits firmly in this tradition, offering a series of jazzlike riffs on forced co-existence with, ahem, “big” personalities — and perhaps the relief that we don’t have to work an office like this.

You Might Also Like:


By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.


By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as a cowboy on her lunch break.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.


By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening. That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.