A man named Jack has returned from a trip abroad, and can’t remember where he left his car in his home airport’s parking lot. As he wanders the gigantic lot, he comes across a beautiful woman named Maya, who has also forgotten her location.
The two call the help point, where an agent named Stephen helps to locate their vehicles, leaving Jack and Maya to chat while they wait. But the conversation doesn’t go quite the way that Jack expects.
Written and directed by Andrew Margetson, this charming, witty and unexpected romantic short is undeniably well-crafted in its astute directing, relatable and compelling performances and clever writing, and all these elements are woven together with a certain lightness and ease that never feels heavy-handed.
Instead, there’s a quietly steady foundation of excellence all around in the craftsmanship. The camera work and cinematography are never flamboyant and are in fact rather muted, offering a sense of realism. And as the storytelling develops with equally steady pacing, we seem to be heading into serious drama territory, as the two characters deal with the unexpected vulnerability that has bubbled up.
Actors Cian Barry and Ruta Getmintas play Jack and Maya with a responsiveness and openness that draws viewers in, both in the interpersonal trauma being revealed and the build-up between two strangers who may have a spark between them.
But just when the narrative seems to go down one road, it deftly pivots with a puncture of a plot “twist” that steers it into unexpected, but highly entertaining, territory. What’s more, the story takes this shift and runs with it, playing it out with the same ease and excellence — much to Jack’s chagrin, but the audience’s delight.
Romantic narratives require one or both characters to overcome obstacles in order to be together, and part of the interest and pleasure is watching the potential work through these to be together. But the obstacles that Jack eventually deals with in his attempts to impress and connect with Maya are so unexpected and funny that they bring a freshness to the romance format while keeping the film’s appealing naturalness in tone and execution and illustrating an old dictum we never get tired of. All is fair in love and war, as the saying goes — and you never know where the next adversary will pop up.