Tom is an agoraphobic man who lives through his phone, which lets him do his shopping and even "date" via apps... though he never can quite bring himself to leave the house to go on these dates. His agoraphobia is just too strong.
But when an attractive postal service delivery accidentally hits his "package" with the package she's tasked to deliver, they embark on a curious and odd exchange through his door's mail delivery slot. The postal worker has her own quirks and phobias, but somehow, the two manage to strike up a connection. But will Tom be able to follow through on this romantic spark?
Written and directed by B. Welby, this charming, offbeat romantic comedy short captures the unusual start of a love affair between two equally unusual people. Told with great wit and a generous spirit, it offers hope that, no matter what one's foibles are, there's a chance at love and connection for anyone, if both are brave enough to push beyond their comfort zones just a little.
Tom sleeps, breathes and lives via his smartphone. But through a quirky and quirky character intro, we see his great anxiety at the thought of going out into the world. The rest of the film proceeds at a brisk tempo, with sharp camerawork and editing keeping the action apace and bringing the endearing script to life.
But the film slows down when the postal delivery worker enters the scene. She has a somewhat crippling hangup of her own -- she is so shy that she can't bring herself to speak -- and the film builds up her and Tom's connection with a palpable sweetness. At first, the connection is built through kindness and humor. But as both feel increasingly comfortable with one another, they move beyond their hangups.
Actors Rory Fleck Byrne and Charlie Murphy play the pair with a keen sense of comic timing, and both have a relatability that makes them easy to root for. They don't shed their phobias, exactly, but see beyond them to the funny, warm people they are. And though a door separates them, they're able to light a spark that leads to something more.
Gently unique in concept and deftly executed, "Inbox" is a well-balanced romance that is sweet without being cloying and charming without being glib. It works beautifully because it accepts its characters as they are, imperfections and all. Neither character "overcomes" their obstacle, but they both manage to intrigue and connect anyway. Romantic comedy can be a genre where films lean on irony and edge to feel contemporary. But even with its characters' foibles, "Inbox" leans on sincerity, and aligns with the genre's most classic message: with a bit of courage, anyone can love and be loved for who they are, warts and all.