I had the pleasure of catching a screening of this wryly funny and sharply observant seriocomic 28 minute gem of a short at a film festival held in my hometown of Metuchen, New Jersey and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story centers on an antsy and worn-out struggling working class mother (a charming performance by Tiffany Anne Carrin) who thanklessly toils away as a cashier at a supermarket. Our endearingly harried protagonist's life gets thrown out of whack by both an obtrusive film documentary crew who are making a movie about her drab everyday existence and the feared arrival of a bunch of corporate executives who are visiting the store to see that everything's running well. I've worked in a grocery store, so I can say with absolute authority that this spot-on little jewel totally nails the petty absurdities and sense of complete irrelevance that's part and parcel to such places with remarkable accuracy. For example, when our main character gets an Employee of the Month Award, we all know just how silly and meaningless this minor honor seems in the grand scheme of life. This movie knows this as well, but to its credit never seems either smug or condescending in its tone. Instead, there's a genuine wit and warmth about the amusing and ridiculous, yet sad and touching plight of your average minimum wage slave which in turn gives this feature a great deal of true heart and appeal. A real treat.
Lunch Break (2005)
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