Omeleto

For Closure

By Mike Peebler | Comedy
A real estate agent is desperate to make a sale. He gets more than he bargained for.

Mitch is a real estate agent who is desperate to sell a foreclosed house on his roster. In a "Hail Mary" pass of a showing, he shows the home to a couple, Suzanne and Carl. But from the get-go, they're a tense pair, at odds with one another.

The couple's tension only ratchets up as they tour the home. As they wrangle over the particulars of the house, their travails come to the fore -- his unemployment, her infertility -- as they devolve into a physical altercation that destroys the home, and maybe their marriage.

Written and directed by Mike Peebler, this short dark comedy is a heightened affair, one that goes for the jugular in terms of emotion and action. Shot with a gleamingly cheerful visual sensibility, the brightly optimistic look and feel of the film are an ironic contrast to the bitterness and acrimony that unfolds.

Big life changes like buying a house or having a child often spark conflict and open up rifts between life partners, but this film takes this notion and amps it up to a hilariously (and scarily) exaggerated level. As the couple looks over the house and their sarcastic discussion devolves into a fight, it could almost be slapstick if not for the brutal emotional truths that underlie the fight, which is cleverly and memorably unspooled with each well-paced blow, punch and shout. The husband and wife have become resentful of one another after a series of trials and disappointments, and that resentment comes to a boil as they confront their future in a possible new home.

The fight and camerawork are well-staged, as the pair's emotional violence is literalized into a physical altercation. Capturing the fight in a long take full of movement and action is also equally impressive. Actors Andi Norris and Jeff Budner don't play their anger, frustration and rage for laughs, but with genuine emotion. Amid the falls, punches, slaps and worse, they're able to maintain a specificity of character, feeling and relationship, one that has reached its breaking point for both partners.

Of course, the zinger at the end of "For Closure" shows that many people learn to function with some degree of dysfunction, especially after they've gotten everything off their chest. That's one of the truths among many that the film exaggerates to the point of hyperbole, to memorable effect. Many life-long relationships are a build-up of unspoken resentments and grievances. In a society that pushes impossible romantic ideals, it's untoward to admit that this "death by a thousand cuts" can push spouses to rage and even hate. "For Closure" pushes these insights into the literal and visible, bringing a new spin to the term "brutal honesty" with impressive craft and a dark but knowing humor about love and human nature.





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