Monday, November 9, 2015

Sean Meehan's Comedy Short Invites You For a Workplace Romance . . . "Over Coffee"

"OVER COFFEE" (2011)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length- 15:25
Company:  A Studio in Production & Two-Five Films

So good guy Andrew (Erik Potempa) has a crush on super hot secretary Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer), but her mean boss (Timothy J. Cox) makes outrageous demands on a minute to minute basis and has a way of sapping every human moment from their would-be relationship.

Add into the mix Andrew's well meaning but ultimately sex obsessed friend David (Michael Oberholtzer) and you've got a stew that . . . well, you probably shouldn't taste it, because it might be poison.  But, poison as it might be, it's his poison -- er, life, so he's got to make due with what he's got.

And when Carla needs to get her mean boss a coffee at the last minute, and Andrew has a moment to spare, he leaps to her rescue.

How does it turn out for the poor guy?  Well, I'll leave that to you to find out.


Sean Meehan wrote and directed "Over Coffee", and you might recognize his name because we've reviewed his award winning ghost comedy "Mallas, MA" right here back in May.  That film also starred Cox in a lead role.  "Over Coffee" is an earlier effort -- this one's back from 2011, and it definitely shows.

While Meehan's got some good pacing and maintains a certain comedic rhythm to the shots and the cutting (for which he's also credited, along with Matt Schwarz), the results, to the extremely low key writing, just aren't funny.  A little bit of the coffee shenanigans toward the end made me chuckle, but too much of the rest of the film didn't do it for me.  I wouldn't go so far as to say it was boring, as the film is competently made and it makes you wonder what's going to happen, but it's not compelling enough for me to label the film as a dramedy, and not funny enough to say it's a successful comedy.

The acting is the strongest feature of this film.  Every actor on display in this film does well with what they are given.  Potempa, DeBoer, Oberholtzer and the always reliable Cox are all worthy of praise, and I much enjoyed the ending, which was cute and felt right on the money for the tone of the picture.

"Over Coffee" delivers a well acted but flawed short film that, due to its lack of laughs feels way too long.  But if you stick it out to the end, the finale makes up for the bumpy road getting there.


Writing: 1.5 / 5.  The characters are all a bit too cliche, and the script as a whole just isn't funny enough to keep my attention like Meehan's other work.  
Directing: 2 / 5.  Effective camera movement.  A competent show from Meehan.
Editing: 2.5 / 5.  The editing kept the story moving as best as it could, but it would have benefited from punchier jokes.
Sound/Music: 2 / 5.  The sound design wasn't perfect, with the levels not 100% even from cut to cut, but it's still done well.  The music felt too on the nose, with some original tunes from Erik Campo and others from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Really impressive work from everyone on display, and I hope to see a whole lot more from all of them.  

Final Grade: 2.4  / 5.

Don't forget to check out "Over Coffee" and follow writer/director Sean Meehan on Facebook!

Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!