Has potential for a comedy with a heart but, despite some good elements, it doesn't make it work as well as it should
An assassin checks into a city hotel, swiftly and anonymously moving through the lobby and up to her room. In place she unpacks and assembles her sniper rifle, and sets a countdown so she knows when she needs to snap into action. As she waits, she gets an unscheduled knock at the door – her stay-at-home husband, 4 year old daughter, and baby.
This short opens with an opening sequence that manages to capture the feel (if not the gloss) of a Hollywood film, as the assassin strides in, the music plays, and the assembly of the weapon is done – all slick, a little bit sexual, and quite cool. This opening gave me hope because it showed the makers knew what tone they were going for, and it does set the scenario well that it knows its turf even if it then wants to subvert it. This it does with the introduction of a clash between family and career – but done in the middle of an active hit. As a scenario it offers the chance for humor mixed with just enough narrative to keep it moving, however here is where it doesn't come together as I had hoped. The core of the film doesn't really manage to be funny or engaging, and it leads to a conclusion that seemed like it was always going to happen that way and, since it relates to a couple we are not really bought into, then it doesn't satisfy or draw a chuckle either. Ironically though, the end credits are funnier since that scene is much more honest and natural.
It is pretty good in terms of camera-work and sound; with nice clear use of the small location and, like I said, a good awareness of what makes this type of film feel like this type of film. The performances are okay, although hat times it does feel like the two actors are in different films – with Jones playing it too straight, while Beilis is actually more comedic in tone. Stay at Home is okay as a short, but it doesn't really deliver enough where it counts to make it worth a look.
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