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Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Prego" Laughs At One Night Stands & The Awkwardness of Impending Parenthood

"PREGO" (2015)
Genre: Comedy
Length-13:34
Company:  Digital Magic Entertainment

After a recent break-up, Emily (Katie Vincent) drowns her sorrows in a one night stand with a nice guy she doesn't know.  The problem is that now she's pregnant, and that guy she didn't know turns out to be Mark (Taso Mikroulis), possibly the worst candidate for fatherhood in the entire world.

Regardless, she doesn't have a lot of emotional support, and she's got one person she can turn to, and like it or not, that person's got to be Mark . . .

AWKWARD SILENCE

"Prego" is a short comedy film directed and co-written by Usher Morgan with assistance from Andy Cowan.  It's an exercise in simplicity, both in terms of writing and visual style, but sometimes that's the best way to go for the film you want to make.  "Prego" doesn't need some kind of wacky virtuoso performance behind the camera.  The emphasis here is on the sort of quiet, mundane humor you'll see in TV comedies like "The Office".

The end result is an amusing short that will keep you entertained for the running time of the film.  I liked how Morgan addresses the sort of saccharine Hollywood ending we've come to expect from movies about parenthood, and then takes the story in another direction.

CONCLUSION

So where does love enter into a relationship?  Does it always have to be something that's a foregone conclusion -- you fall in love at first sight, for instance, or you fall in love before having sex?  Can you have a one night stand, and learn to love later?

Do you have to have love at all?  Can't you just work together for the betterment of the little being you've mutually created?

Or maybe life's just one big rollercoaster, and you just have to cling on for the ride, and see if there's a laugh or two that can be squeezed out of the experience.

Maybe so, but at least we can laugh and enjoy!

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 3 / 5.  Though the storyline has a "been there, done that" feel (most notably in the big budget Knocked Up), the aforementioned fork in the plot toward the end made up for a lot.  The jokes are by and large funny and the characters play off each other in humorous ways.
Directing: 3.5 / 5.  Simple, but it just WORKS.  Morgan uses a lot of close-ups in his dialogue, and lets his actors do the heavy lifting.  The production values as a whole are high and the film is attractive.  A nod needs to go to Director of Photography Louis Obioha because, despite being limited to one location, we still get some nice images.
Editing: 4 / 5.  Morgan also handles editing duties, and he's cut the film together in about as perfect a fashion as possible.  The pacing is right on the money, and the color correction makes the actors all the more beautiful to watch.
Sound/Music: 3 / 5.  The music comes from a variety of sources, mostly pop and alternative songs which capture a certain mood for the movie.  The sound is recorded professionally.
Acting: 3.5 / 5.  Both Vincent and Mikroulis put on good performances, with the former in particular being given a role which allows some range.  They play off each other well and it's their offbeat chemistry that makes the film what it is.

Final Grade:  3.4 / 5.

Don't forget to check out "Prego" at the official Facebook page!



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!