Lori is a high-powered CEO, with a skyscraper office of her own, an assistant and a full calendar. But she carves out time in her schedule for a special appointment: that’s when a roguish window washer comes to clean the windows on her floor.
One afternoon, her ogling turns into something more, as their glances and smiles turn into flirtation. Then it turns into a sexy, daring pas de deux that could be a story straight out of the infamous Playboy forum, yet ends up sweet, smart and unexpectedly vulnerable in the end.
Written and directed by Morgan Krantz with great wit and sweetness, this short romance is equal parts naughty sensuality and terrific physical comedy, covering both the absurdity and poetry of seduction — all without getting naked or touching.
There’s some dialogue to set up the beginning, but the encounter that forms the heart of the story is largely free of speech. But despite the lack of spoken words, the storytelling is well-constructed and there is plenty of back-and-forth communication between Lori and the window washer. Watching the pair notice one another and then develop a rapport is a delight, captured with visual acuity and an editing rhythm that catches the important and fleeting moments of interest that slowly become mutual.
This mutual intrigue ripens into a full-fledged encounter, although one that doesn’t involve bodies actually touching. Instead, Lori and her working-man Lothario trade glances, flirtations and gestures back and forth, answering each dare with a more brazen display, though there is nothing more explicit you’d see in a pop music video. What we see is sexy, inventive, playful, silly and shocking in both its unvarnished lust and unexpected moments of tenderness and vulnerability. (The classical score also heightens the emotions, with effects that can be sweet and humorous.)
Not surprisingly, the film relies on intimate, brave performances to ground the audience in both the sexiness and humor of the story. Actor Amy Rutherford as Lori plays both the competent, high-powered professional woman, who (literally and figuratively) removes those layers of formality to reveal a passionate, bold sexual freedom, while actor Blair McKenzie meets her with each turn with intrigue, courage and playfulness.
With its cheeky codicil of an ending, “Squeegee” makes clever observations about the fine line between fantasy and reality, especially when it comes to sex, and touches on the irony that sometimes we are freer when we know there’s no future to keep an eye towards. There’s a lot of keen insights into the interplay between carnal desire and mental fantasy, but above all, “Squeegee” is hilarious, entertaining, intimate, witty and fun to watch — and like some encounters, sometimes that’s all it has to be.