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Mr. Fixit
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Mrs. Fixit
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Daughter
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Short

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1 October 2005 (UK)  »

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Soundtracks

The Jitterbug Waltz
Written by Fats Waller
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music
Performed by Lenny Dee
Courtesy of MCA Records
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A quirky short that reveals itself to a simply clever look at relationships
16 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A man considers himself to be a bit of a handyman and has earned the nickname "Mr Fixit" among his family members. So when his daughter tells him he needs to see a marriage counsellor to save his failing marriage, he decides he can probably do it himself. When his wife goes away for a week on business he decides to split his house in two and live apart but in the same house – their only contact being via telephone or by passing items through a small window he left in the dividing wall.

On the face of it this sounds like some sort of quirky comedy but soon it becomes a clever little observation on the nature of relationships. You see the simple point is that the man thinks he has built the wall so that when his wife demands it be broken down he can do it as a symbolic gesture and make it the second start they need – all she has to do is ask. However all she thinks is that her husband has built a wall down the middle of their house and wants to live apart. It is a simple observation but a valid one and it is made much more interesting by how well it is brought out in this absurd little story. It doesn't totally work but I give it credit because it is much better than I believed it would be.

Writer/director Lilien underwhelmed me with "Where the Money is" and really messed up with Dungeons & Dragons but here she (I assume) was quite impressive. The direction wasn't fantastic as it seems a bit strangely coloured and dark but that may be to do with the age of the print that I saw, but mostly it worked well within the constraints of the set. Lawlor has to keep the quirkiness of his character while also drawing out parallels with real life – he does it really well by a mix of good performance and narration, while Bundy and Sudrow are OK in support.

Overall a simple but enjoyable and clever short film. It could have been a little shorter but it is a really nice idea well delivered and is worth a look for all the time it takes to watch it. A shame that so few people have seen it then.


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