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The Smile Man (2013)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  15 June 2013 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 324 users  
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A bit silly, but I loved it
18 October 2014 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

The premise is actually really tragic here. I am not sure if this could actually happen that way. A man had an accident and from the nerve damage he will have a lifelong disability. But then you see Willem Dafoe with his smile and this just turns into the oddest funny thing ever. The saddest scene was probably very early the crying at the mirror. Pretty much all the situations he gets in are negative: he meets the other victim of the accident, he gets beaten up because somebody thinks he is laughing at him, he gets mocked by a taxi driver...

The smile is always there and it is so unintentionally funny. Like a mix of comedy and horror. When he stands at her door and says "I brought you your bag" or when he lurks around the corner at the girl's house. The ending is a peaceful one though as he finds out the other victim has nerve damage too and they bond over it as she is now forced to cry all the time. Well.. opposites attract. I found this a bit of an surprising development as she seemed totally egoistic and vain early on. But we did not know where her tears really resulted from. I am not sure if this film would have worked so well with another actor than Dafoe in the lead role, but he was just perfect for the part. It is only a bit longer than 9 minutes, so you can almost watch this in a commercial break. Very much recommended and I hope Anton Lanshakov, who wrote and directed this, will soon make another movie, maybe a full feature next time.


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