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9 October 2012 (USA)  »

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1.18: Doug by Samuel D. Hunter: Well written and performed character (SPOILERS)
5 October 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film sees Doug on the phone to someone (we assume early on that it must be an answer-phone); he is trying to get interest from the other person but it seems he has been mostly ignored as this is not the first message he has left. In doing so we get a sense for him as a person – someone who is unremarkable in the wider scheme of things, but also feels that he does have something to offer, experiences which are his that does make him special. It is an interesting character because he feels frustrated by the lack of spark and interest in who he is, while also accepting that there may be a reason for this, and being a bit embarrassed by the melodrama he occasionally brings to the situation.

It is well written in this way because it feels like a real person. To my mind Doug is in the situation of trying to sell himself or maybe even trying to work out who he is and what he likes about himself, before he can worry about someone else doing it. In this, he finds frustration in his own thoughts and in the lack of interest, although eventually he settles on a much more ordinary summary of himself, in the way that so many of these ads read. It is very nicely delivered by Saunders, and he brings a lot to the words. His performance has self-imposed limits and triggers in there which make the flow of words seem natural and real – it never feels like a performance.

The reliance on the answer phone idea is the only real limiting factor, but otherwise the character is what drives it, and Doug is both well written and well delivered to come over as a convincing person, giving us a lot more than just this specific instance of his life.


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