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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

absolutely brilliant

Author: Rachel ( from Berzerkeley, CA
28 August 1999

I saw this short as a part of the Spike and Mike Festival of Animation and it *completely* stole the show. Basically it's about two people -- who are obviously perfect for one another -- on the ultimate Blind Date from Hell, where things rapidly go from awkward to horrible to worse. I wish I dared to write down some of the absolutely hysterical dialogue, but that would be spoiling the fun for others. This is a brilliant, very twisted gem of a short film, and made me an instant fan of Don Hertzfeldt, the animator. See it and you'll become one too.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the most brilliant short films of our time

Author: rdh210 from St. Louis, MO
4 April 2000

This is Don Hertzfeldt's third film, and arguably his best. This 13 minute film has as much heart as Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" with the sadistic edge of "Billy's Balloon," the followup to "Lily and Jim" played at the Spike and Mike Twisted Animation festival this past year.

A brilliant, brilliant film.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching just so you can watch the couple turn on the television!

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
15 November 2008

This short was in part four of the "Short Cinema Journal"--a film I rented from Netflix but which appears to have originally been a monthly film series for people who like mediocre modern short films AND love to have the DVD chock full of commercials. I have so far tried two of the Journal's DVDs and felt enraged at the horrible way that a viewer needs to navigate the disk in order to see the films. Talk about an over-produced and overly complicated way of doing this! While I have and will continue to see as many shorts as I can, I really doubt if I'll bother with the Journals because of these factors.

LILY AND JIM was probably my favorite film in the set, though it was rather slow going at first. It begins with two terribly animated and nerdy characters talking about going on a blind date. The artwork reminded me of Don Hertzfeldt's but I didn't know for sure until later that it was indeed his work. I knew for sure when the couple turned on the television--the art and especially the very sick (and funny) minute or so the set was on was the highlight of the film. Apart from this, the film is quite cute and it was very insightful into the hazards of dating--especially for folks who aren't as charming or clever as folks on TV (in other words, most of us!).

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excruciating... and very funny!

Author: el_monty_BCN from Barcelona, Spain
15 February 2006

Although clearly a reference to Woody Allen (and more precisely "Annie Hall"), this fantastic short film reminds me very much of Todd Solondz's "Happiness" (though it was made earlier), in the way that *incredibly* awkward and uncomfortable situations are drawn out and out, and the scenes never allowed to end gracefully to save the characters from their shame and misery, but instead go on and on and keep getting worse. Sometimes it's almost unbearable to watch! (Which is even more credit to Hertzfeldt and the voice actors, since we are only watching the artist's trademark stick figures!). I laughed my head off with this gem. Hertzfeldt never lets me down, he's a genius!!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Another fine work from Don Hertzfeldt

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
9 May 2005

'Lily and Jim' is an animated short about the blind date Lily and Jim had. Both are being interviewed, doing their story while we see the images that belong to their story. They start in a restaurant where they do not know what they should talk about. Then they go to Lily's (voice by Karin Anger) apartment where they drink some coffee. Jim (voice by Robert May) is actually allergic to caffeine, but he does not say anything about it since he wants to keep their evening nice. He just drinks the strong coffee.

Although it is not as good as 'Genre' from a year earlier, or both 'Billy's Balloon' and 'Rejected' after this one, 'Lily and Jim' is another fine example of the brilliant mind of animator Don Hertzfeldt. This one is the most accessible since it lacks some of the more violent images from his other films. It has some great laughs, when they are watching television is the best example, but not as much as any of his other films. Still terrific entertainment, highly recommended.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great on DVD!

Author: JBC-2 ( from Sydney. Australia
2 October 2000

I have recently seen this hilarious short film with the family on DVD and everyone was in 'stitches' The DVD has a number of great short films and is called "SHORT Issue 4 : Seduction" I love short films and this must go into my top 10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Genre Hertzfeldt

Author: Polaris_DiB from United States
20 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very good example of Hertzfeldt's style, along with his general theme of angry stick-figures with social dilemmas. Lily and Jim are two stick figures set up for a blind date, and they bring all of their angst to the restaurant resulting in that uncomfortable comedy one gets when two people with no self-esteem embarrass themselves.

What makes it Don's is his shaky stick figures that are remarkably colored in with odd atmospheric painting... unusual to think about and even more unusual to see, it actually really captures the kind of background artistic expression around these characters who only know to avoid looking at each other in the eyes and try to think of clever and witty things to say (and ultimately failing).

It's definitely not as random and crazy as most of his other works, but it's very enjoyable and poignant, perhaps a bit predictable but in that whole, "Ahhh, we've all been there..." kind of way.


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I just don't understand condiments...

Author: sharky_55 from Australia
30 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lily and Jim was Hertzfeldt's third student film and probably the most coherent of his work. It tells the tale of two self- conscious strangers on a blind date and their spiralling paranoia and mess. It's partly narrated through talking heads throughout the short which allows for some self-reflection and deeper insight into both our main characters. The animation is simple but effective enough to get the message across and like much of Hertzfeldt's work, flickers with life and in this case, nervousness.

What really brings Lily and Jim closer to reality is the voice- acting which is very natural and full of little characteristics like pauses, stutters and contemplation which brings a richness to the creeping awkwardness of the date. You can practically hear the dead air and the whirring of their brains as they struggles to impress each other. And speech bubbles also assist in showing their growing nervousness. The dialogue serves this well; the questions seem grabbed from a snapshot of a lonely dating life, awkwardly fumbling around for some sort of connection and, when failing to do so, the tension lingers and sometimes results in humour: "That new Holocaust film. Yeah, it was pretty neat."

Lily and Jim is a nice little case study in how our self consciousness worms into our everyday lives and there is no better scenario than a blind date to fully expose those fears. Both Lily and Jim are so intensely focused on their own presentation that they hardly ever consider the shambolic person opposite of them. At times, you don't know whether to cringe or laugh. In an Annie Hall like final sequence, they both narrate how their insecurities prevented either of them from reaching out for a second date. Jim, having seemingly accepted that dating is a muddled and confusing game not for him, says: "I just don't understand condiments." And haven't we all resigned ourselves to that sort of thinking when things don't work out.

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Awkwardly hilarious

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
12 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is really an outstanding short film. It runs for 12 minutes and was made by Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt when he was only 20 years old. He also wrote the script together with the two voice actors from the film. I am not sure why I found this so amazing. I guess part of it is the fact that you are here watching them and you are also glad that you are not in an equally awkward situation like the protagonists. The first part they tell about their date and how it went in their opinion. The middle part is the actual date and we see what happens and the ending includes some more comments by Lily and Jim about what is going to happen next. Sadly, nothing it seems, although they liked each other. I guess that's life. I do not want to go into detail about any particular quotes or scenes in here. I could not even pick my favorite moment or scene really, because there were so so many of them. But the script shows me that Hertzfeldt really had deep knowledge about the human soul and about relationships and the ways in which men and women work (differently). It's absolutely great and every single award that this was was more than deserved. Hertzfeldt is possibly my favorite animation director right not and I just absolutely love his style. I would actually be curious to see him direct a live action feature film, maybe a short film first. But no matter if he does or not, I hope he is going to have a long and healthy career in the industry as I am so curious about all his future projects. "Lily and Jim" is maybe his least offensive movie and definitely a must-see for everybody in my opinion.

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Hertzfeldt's best

Author: PunchB from Norway
26 October 2009

I saw this short recently and thought it was great - both poignant and funny. And the part where they turn on the TV was actually so funny that I laughed out loud sitting alone. I thought, why haven't I heard of this Hertzfeldt guy before, he's great. Turns out I had, but had forgotten. I'd seen both Rejected and Genre and thought, meh - I see what he's trying to do but the humor is too juvenile and too obvious. Kinda like South Park, or most of Cartoon Swim.

So, I think Lily and Jim is brilliant. And the violence and mayhem in the TV scene is just perfect. It works as parody there, funny and to the point. The violence and randomness in his other shorts doesn't work for me. Just making something weird and/or overly violent doesn't cut it.

For weirdness (even gross and violent stuff) that actually works because there's something behind it, see Wonder Showzen or Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job.

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