Omeleto

Main Squeeze

By Brendan Prost | Comedy
A couple in an open relationship is woken up by a drunk secondary partner.

Kiersey and Benji are sleeping one peaceful holiday night when their night’s slumber is interrupted by the sound of shattering glass. They wake and discover that someone’s thrown a sex toy through the window, addressed to Kiersey. It’s from her secondary lover, Jacquie, who is drunk outside below.

Kiersey is upset, as is Benji, because their relationship has a rule that no “secondaries” can come to their home together. But Jacquie has come to declare her love and establish her romantic dominance, and as the rest of the night shows, “catching feelings” goes beyond any hard-and-fast rules governing the relationship.

Written and directed by Brendan Prost, this short romantic dramedy explores the mutable configurations of modern relationships that go beyond traditional monogamy, especially as they run up against innate human needs for security and attachment. With honest, witty writing and authentic performances, it balances comic absurdity with genuinely complex emotions that come from competing yet authentic loyalties.

The narrative quickly and economically paints the picture of a young couple’s home and life together, from the small Christmas tree and lights to the way Kiersey takes out her retainer when she wakes up. Even the visuals have a naturalistic, ordinary sense of color and light, taking place in a world not so removed from the average viewer.

This seemingly settled domestic situation has more than meets the eye as it’s revealed that Kiersey has another lover, who has violated the rules of this supposedly tidy ethical nonmonogamous arrangement. Jacqui’s “caught feelings” for Kiersey, and despite knowing the rules of the game, she’s fallen in love. She wants Kiersey to herself, but her drunken whim forced her to confront the fact of Kiersey’s other life.

Jacqui is not the only person who must face the complicated nature of love, attachment and jealousy. Benji must face the possibility that Kiersey also might love Jacqui, and therefore face his own difference and possible inadequacies as a partner. And Kiersey must confront the complexities of her own feelings and competing loyalties.

The entire ensemble — actors Keshia Palm, Shane McLean and Jennifer Ferris as Kiersey, Benji and Jacqui respectively — deftly hit the understated comic beats, but they excel at mining the insecurities, vulnerability and doubt that come to surface after realizing the boundaries erected around their shared situation haven’t at all prevented the messy, complicated nature of human love.

“Main Squeeze” takes a stereotypically “kinky” situation and rendering it warmly tender and resolutely human. But in negotiating this complicated situation with openness, honesty and equanimity, we also see how two people truly communication and listen to one another with respect, bearing witness to one another’s truths — as challenging it may be to their vulnerability or painful it is to contemplate. At the core, it’s the hard work of partnership in action, portrayed with great humor and affection for the human beings and the foibles and delusions they bear.





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