Omeleto

Tapes

By Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney | Comedy
A woman discovers a recording of her parents' couples therapy session from 30 years earlier.

Maddie is a young woman who discovers a cassette tape recording of her parents’ couples therapy session from 30 years earlier, right before Maddie was born. In these tapes, Maddie hears something that discomfits and hurts her profoundly.

As she and her boyfriend head to the family home for Sunday night dinner, she keeps hearing the secret she discovered in her mind — making for a powderkeg of a family meal.

Written and directed by Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, this witty family dramedy has a veneer of urban sophistication, recalling filmmakers like Whit Stillman and Noah Baumbach. Like other comedies of manners, the storytelling is rich with stylized, often droll dialogue, and is attuned to how conversation reveals character and can prove cataclysmically eventful.

But it also has the beating heart of a family drama, exploring how layers of long-running tension and assumptions can shift with new revelations, sending up emotional earthquakes in the process. The family dynamic is established with sharp, intelligent writing, as quicksilver editing and seemingly casual camerawork capture small moments between the different family members.

Viewers quickly see the family is close-knit, with flourishes of eccentricity and absurdity, including the presence of a “life doula” brought to dinner by Maddie’s sister Fran. The cast of actors — led by Maddie Fischer as Maddie, and including veteran character actors Jay O. Sanders and Maryann Plunkett as her parents –hit these comic moments with clever, sly understatement.

But as Maddie looks at the details of her family home — the pictures of her and her mother when she was a kid, for instance — she can’t help but see them differently. And when she explodes in resentment and hurt, she sets off a contagion of deep emotions and even deeper truths, with the collective ensemble hitting a perfect storm of both difficult emotion and comic outbursts.

Entertaining, relatable and unafraid of unvarnished emotion, “Tapes” seems light on its feet, with its quick rhythms and sharply observant eye for telling and ironic detail. Its wry sense of humor overlays a deeper minefield of hurts, as well as a secret history of pain — layers that are handled with genuine commitment to feeling, but also with a certain nimbleness and eye for irony. Juxtaposing these tones in “Tapes” is a balancing act that touches upon the complexity of family life, gesturing at both the joy and importance of belonging, as well as the price we pay in silence and sometimes sadness to maintain familial equilibrium.





You Might Also Like:

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Discipline

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.

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 father is cut off from his son, then takes matters into his own hands...

Joseph’s Reel

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

Lost and Found (Oscars)

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

Reception

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.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man works in a food truck, across from a brothel with a girl who needs his help.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A young woman finds a one-night stand. But he lives 2 hours away via public transit.


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.